Size-Specific Spatial Dynamics of Pacific....
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GRANT NUMBER:  NA66FD0049           NMFS NUMBER:  95-AKR-025

REPORT TITLE:  Size-Specific Spatial Dynamics of Pacific Halibut: A Key to Reduce Bycatch in the Groundfish Fisheries

AUTHOR:  Adlerstein, Sara A. and Trumble, Robert J.

PUBLISH DATE: March 1997

AVAILABLE FROM:  National Marine Fisheries Service, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668.  PHONE: (907) 586-7280


The goal of the project was to provide a prediction of relative Pacific halibut bycatch rates in groundfish fisheries of the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska, using distribution of halibut size classes and patterns of groundfish harvest, as a means of reducing halibut bycatch.  The following passage was taken from the project's final report: 

It was determined that halibut year class strength (numbers and biomass) varies by an order of magnitude.  CPUE of each size group will change dramatically as strong and weak year classes pass through, which will cause bycatch rates to vary year by year.  Additionally, the proportion of halibut that could be protected by closing any Bering Sea area of concentration, however, may be fairly small, as Clark and Walters (1997) show that halibut sampled by trawl surveys are typically more abundant in the Gulf of Alaska than in the Bering Sea.  It was concluded that the best use of this data set is by fishermen voluntarily adjusting the fishing pattern to harvest groundfish with a minimum of halibut bycatch.  Mandatory time-area management would inevitably have some closure occurring where halibut are in relatively low abundance, while allowing fishing in areas of high halibut concentration.

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