Begich Says Monitoring Will Cut Bycatch

Representative Kurt Olson says there’s a problem in the federal waters…

 

Rep. Seaton(R-Soldotna): “There’s been significant impact on the Chinook run as a result of the trollers in the Gulf of Alaska and Prince William Sound. I’ve always felt that they had an impact, but when we finally started getting the bycatch numbers on Chinooks from  this area, found out the troll fleet is taking as many Kings as the commercial, sportfish and subsistence users in Cook Inlet, we have a real problem that we have no control over, because it’s in federal waters.”

 

U.S. Senator Mark Begich last week met with local sportsfishermen to discuss upcoming changes to the Magnuson–Stevens Act. We asked Sen. Begich about the bycatch…

 

Sen. Begich(D-AK): “Bycatch has decreased over the past several years. The challenge is, in a lot of people’s minds, it hasn’t decreased enough. I think that is one issue that has popped up on the radar screen clearly as an issue that’s going to be in our discussion. From the commercial end, their debate is: ‘Well, allow us to use more technology in managing this.’ NOAA, the federal agency, is not adverse to technology, but slow to adapt.”

 

We asked Senator Begich what he will do…

 

Sen. Begich(D-AK): “That is something we can do through the Magnuson–Stevens Act, where we can say: ‘By such-and-such year, or such-and-such date, you will have achieved X-amount of electronic monitoring, you will do electronic monitoring on ships the sizes of X and below.’ So there’s a lot of things you can initiate by policy, and then make sure NOAA does it.”

Categories: News

About Author