SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Halibut Be Gone
By Clay Slanaker


February 24, 2011
Thursday PM

People, did you realize that the Atlantic coast had more and bigger halibut than the Pacific coast many years ago.  They were severely depleted by 1850 because they were killed as BYCATCH! Yes bycatch, the European cod fishermen crossed the Atlantic looking for richer cod fishing grounds and found them, they also found an abundance of halibut.  With no market for them early on they were killed and thrown back to the sea.  Google Atlantic halibut.  

Pacific halibut be gone?  Yes they will, but not because of charter fishing (GUIDED SPORT FISHING) nor resident sport fishing.  After reading all of the recent news releases and regulations I got fired up.  If our halibut stocks are in such bad standing why has the federal fisheries managers not attacked the true problem?  Guided and unguided sportfishing are some of the largest user groups with the smallest quotas 12% or less of overall removals.  The Pacific trawl fleet kills nearly 50% of removals as BYCATCH!  The average size is a 4# fish, juveniles, caught killed and thrown back in the name of pollock and or cod.  These trawlers are allocated 10 MILLION POUNDS annually, there bycatch quota does not change annually as does the other fisheries. That is 9 times more than the entire charter industry in the state.  The fisheries should not be managed on bycatch and the mortality rate of juvenile fish.

Unfortunately, the trawl fleet has a get out of jail free card but no halibut card.  I am personally disappointed in the 2C longline fleet for not joining forces with the sport sector to address the demise of our halibut resource at the hands of trawl fleet BYCATCH!  

Shame on our federal regulators.

Clay Slanaker
Ketchikan, AK


Received February 22, 2011 - Published February 24, 2011



Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:

letter Webmail Your Opinion Letter to the Editor



Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


E-mail your letters & opinions to
Your full name, city and state are required for letter publication.

SitNews ©2011
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska