Seattle cod trawler wastes 114 tons of Alaska halibut: Alaska Dispatch

Environment Fishery

The Alaska Dispatch reports that a Seattle cod trawler wastes 114 tons of Alaska halibut

The Seattle-based trawler Alaska Beauty recently had a great week of halibut fishing… Only one problem: Alaska Beauty wasn’t supposed to be fishing halibut; it was supposed to be fishing cod.

Despite that, 43 percent of its catch was halibut. All of that halibut, by law, must be dumped back into the sea. Most of it goes back dead. Some Alaskans are starting to get angry at this sort of large “by-catch” of halibut by Pacific Northwest and Kodiak-based trawlers at a time when the species’ stocks are declining, and Alaska charter and commercial longline fisheries are locked in a bitter battle over every flatfish.

An anonymous blogger who goes by the name of Tholepin says “228,800 pounds of halibut wasted by draggers just last week,” Tholepin notes in the latest post. “Value? In cash terms to longliners, about $1.6 million. In lost reproductive potential, in lost growth potential, in long-term resource damage; all unknowns ..