Many words created few changes to the Gulf of Alaska bycatch reduction package the North Pacific Fishery Management Council is pondering.

02halibut-offloadAt its June meeting in Kodiak, the council held another session dedicated to the plan, which would enact one of several options aimed at reducing the amount of halibut and chinook salmon bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska groundfish fishery. The council moved three alternatives into a public scoping process but before making adjustments to alternatives, the overarching goals and objectives debate spurred a two-hour word battle among members that the chair found unproductive. Not only should the plan reduce bycatch, as the purpose and needs statement says, but should also “promote increased utilization of both target and secondary species while minimizing economic barriers for new participants and limiting harvest privileges.” The council lingo is meant to protect new entrant fishermen from consolidation and overwhelming entry costs to purchase fishing quota. (This is a long article with lots of info.) Read the story here 20:44