Presentation on theme: "Preliminary Estimates of Seabird Bycatch in the Alaskan Halibut Longline Fishery in 2013 Shannon M. Fitzgerald Jennifer Cahalan Jason Gasper Jennifer Mondragon."— Presentation transcript:
Preliminary Estimates of Seabird Bycatch in the Alaskan Halibut Longline Fishery in 2013 Shannon M. Fitzgerald Jennifer Cahalan Jason Gasper Jennifer Mondragon
The Groundfish Fleet Freezer Longliners (Catcher Processors) Targets = Pacific Cod and Greenland Turbot Vast number of hooks annually and per vessel (fewer vessels) Catcher Vessels (shoreside) Target = sablefish (black cod) Tub gear, fewer hooks annually and per vessel (many vessels)
Freezer Longliner Auto-bait system Typically over 124 ft length overall 100% Observer coverage Ca. 20,000 hooks per day
Sablefish catcher vessels Individual Fishing Quota Tub gear – hand baited Generally 30% observer coverage Hundreds of hooks per day Courtesy IPHC
In 2013 Observations begin on a % of the Pacific Halibut Fleet “The last great unobserved fishery in the United States” An historic fleet – some 100 yr old halibut schooners are still fishing Courtesy IPHC
We started in How did we get to a Restructured Observer Program that included monitoring of Pacific Halibut dermersal longline vessels?
It started in How did we get to a Restructured Observer Program that included monitoring of Pacific Halibut dermersal longline vessels? TMI !
Similar to Sablefish fishery Tub gear; hand baited Smaller vessels, large fleet Operating out of many Alaskan ports Courtesy IPHC
Individual handling of fish Targeted coverage rate = ca 12% Realized coverage rate = to be determined For background information and updates visit the North Pacific Fishery Management Council website Courtesy IPHC
PRELIMINARY …. Estimates of Seabird Bycatch in the Alaskan Halibut Longline Fishery in 2013
Previous work -- Annual catch rates Groundfish fishery Groundfish fishery Species-specific differences among fisheries Species-specific differences among fisheries Inter-annual variability Inter-annual variability Must look at rates and total effort Must look at rates and total effort Birds / 1,000 hooks
Fishery total effort, by year and target Cod freezer longliners (catcher processors) dominate overall effort Halibut fishery observations begin in 2013
Overall seabird catch rates (birds per 1,000 hooks) ** Possible anomaly in the data.
Catch rates (per 1,000 hooks) by seabird species groups… … vessel type, fishery target, and year Largest fishery (cod freezer longliners) the bycatch is primarily fulmars, and also gulls, and shearwaters Highest albatross catch rates are in the sablefish and halibut fisheries, but they have much lower effort overall *
Estimated Total Seabird Bycatch Bycatch total numbers are dominated by the Northern fulmar bycatch in the cod freezer longline fishery
Focus on sablefish and halibut fisheries In our first year of comparison, the halibut fishery has lower bycatch than sablefish, and lower albatross bycatch Areas of operation, gear, and fishing depth may account for these differences
Species/Species group FisheryAlbatrossFulmarShearwaterGull Unid./ OtherTotal Cod42, ,303 Halibut Sablefish Total 4362, ,139 Seabird Bycatch Estimates* from the 2013 Alaskan longline fleets * From the NOAA Alaska Regional Office Catch Accounting System
Fishery Target Species Total LaysanBlack-footedShort-tailed Pacific Cod4004 Pacific Halibut0500 Sablefish Total Estimated bycatch of albatross in Alaskan demersal longline fleets
Acknowledgements Fishery Monitoring and Analysis Division, Alaska Fisheries Science Center Fisheries Observers, especially the first deployments to the halibut fleet Vessel officers and crew International Pacific Halibut Commission