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AK Bristol Bay Salmon Set Gillnet Fishery

Current Classification on 2017 LOF

Category II
Estimated Number of Participants 979
Target Species Sockeye salmon is the most abundant salmon, Chinook, chum, Coho, and pink salmon returns are also targeted
Applicable Take Reduction Plans N/A
Observer Coverage This fishery has not been observed by the Alaska Marine Mammal Observer Program.
Marine Mammal Species/Stocks Killed or Injured Beluga whale, Bristol Bay;
Gray whale, Eastern North Pacific;
Harbor seal, Bering Sea;
Northern fur seal, Eastern Pacific;
Spotted seal, AK

^ Number of participants estimates are based on state and federal fisheries permit data.  The estimated number of participants is expressed in terms of the number of active participants in the fishery, when possible.  If this information is not available, the estimated number of vessels or persons licensed for a particular fishery is provided.  If no recent information is available on the number of participants, then the number from the most recent LOF is used.  NMFS acknowledges that, in some cases, these estimations may be inflating actual effort.  

*Observer coverage levels include the latest information reported in the most current final Stock Assessment Report (SAR)

1 Indicates the stock or species is driving the classification of the fishery 

Note: Current classification based on final LOF, no proposed changes are reflected in this table.

Basis for Current Classification

Based on analogy to other Category II AK set gillnet fisheries.  The level of marine mammal mortality and serious injury in this fishery is assumed to be similar to those in other Category II set gillnet fisheries.

Distribution

This fishery generally operates from June 17 to the end of August or mid-September in Bristol Bay.  The Bristol Bay Management Area consists of five management districts including all coastal and inland waters from Cape Newenham to Cape Menshikof.  There are eight major river systems in the area, and these form the largest commercial sockeye salmon fishery in the world.  Approximately 20% of the salmon catch in Bristol Bay is caught with set gillnets.

Gear Description

This fishery uses set gillnet gear with continuous soak times during the opener[1], but the net is dry during low tide.  Fishing effort occurs during the day and night, with 2 or more continuous sets per day. 

[1] Salmon may only be fished commercially during periods known as openers established by the AK Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) in-season.  Openers may last days or weeks.  The ADFG posts weekly notices of fishing openers and announces the openers on regular radio channels.  Fishing periods are often extended by emergency order during the last 24 hours of the opener.

Management

This fishery is managed by the AK Department of Fish and Game as a limited entry fishery with gear restrictions the mesh and net size, and area closures.

Historical Information

Original Category (Year added to the LOF) II (1996)
Original Number of Participants 888
Basis for Original Classification

This fishery was categorized as a Category II based on analogy to other set gillnet fisheries.  Observer coverage was inadequate to determine if serious injury and mortality levels in this fishery were greater than 1% of a marine mammal stock’s Potential Biological Removal (PBR) level, but it was assumed to be similar to marine mammal serious injury and mortality levels incidental to other AK set gillnet fisheries.  Also, logbook data showed that the total mortality and serious injury of beluga whales (Bristol Bay stock) was 0.5 animals/year, or 2% of PBR.

Past Names AK Bristol Bay set gillnet (until 1999).
Species/stocks historically documented as killed or injured (but not currently on the list) N/A

 

Timeline of Changes

2013
  • Estimated number of participants updated from 983 to 982.
2009
  • Estimated number of participants updated from 1,104 to 983.
2006
  • Added a superscript “2” in Table 1 after this fishery, indicating that this fishery is classified by analogy.
2001
  • Estimated number of participants updated from 941 to 1,014.
1999
  • Spotted seal (AK) added.  The 1997 SAR for reported that mortalities were recorded in logbook records in 1990 (5 spotted seals) and 1991 (1 spotted seal).  Logbook data for drift and set gillnet fisheries were combined.  As a result, some of the mortalities may have occurred in the drift gillnet.
  • Renamed "AK Bristol Bay salmon set gillnet" to specify the target species.
  • Estimated number of participants updated from 967 to 941.
1998
  • Northern fur seal (North Pacific) added. The 1998 SAR reported that mortalities were recorded in logbook records in 1990 (5 seals) and 1992 (49 seals).  Logbook data for drift and set gillnet fisheries were combined.  As a result, some of the mortalities may have occurred in the drift gillnet.
  • Estimated number of participants updated from 888 to 967.


 

Updated January 15, 2017