International Pacific Halibut Commission
Bycatch mortality of Pacific Halibut in fisheries is composed of fish, and reductions in return to halibut fisheries result from this bycatch. Distant-water bottom-trawl fleets starting in the 1960’s bycatch mortality of over 12,000 t.
Substantial progress on decreasing this bycatch wasn’t achieved until the of expansion fisheries authorities by the USA and Canada at 197Z Bycatch started to grow again during the growth of national catching capacity for groundfish, and from the early 1990’s it had returned to levels seen during the period of foreign fishing.
The United States through the International Pacific Halibut Commission and action by Canada has resulted in reductions in mortality in some places. Methods of management have operated at vessel levels, fleet, and international. We assess effectiveness’ hierarchy and identify needs. New monitoring technologies offer the promise of approaches to bycatch reduction.
Bycatch of Pacific Halibut, Hippoglossus stenolepis, in nontarget fisheries has been a significant resource elimination since the 1960’s (Williams et al., 1989). Bycatches of halibut happen in many fisheries although targeted by led fisheries and setline. The size of mortality relative to removals from fisheries has caused to be the topic of management control and research.
The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC), the agency charged through a treaty between Canada and the United States with the management of the halibut resource, lacks authority and authority over nondirected fishing, such as bycatch. Management of bycatch falls under the purview of the governments.
Until recently controls over bycatch was achieved through agreements enacted Canada and by the USA along with other nations. Stipulations were provided by the arrangements for fishing: seasons, observers, closed areas, and limitations on the amount of halibut. Worldwide fora, like the International North Pacific Fisheries Commission (INPFC), functioned mainly as a place for discussion and information sharing. Implementation of extended fisheries jurisdiction in the late 1970’s handed the evolution of bycatch controls to agencies of the Canadian and U.S. authorities
In this guide, we review bycatch of Pacific halibut by nontarget fisheries, the activities that resulted in the initial global management and following measures, the development of bycatch controls from the USA and Canada for their various fisheries, and the use of the International Pacific Halibut Commission in talks between Canada and the USA. We evaluate methods and approaches to bycatch control and talk about future developments.
Halibut Bycatch History
Bottom trawl nets were introduced to the Pacific coast of North America in the mid-1910’s (Williams et al., 1989). The International Pacific Halibut Commission banned set-nets for halibut in 1938 and the usage of any loopholes in 1944, primarily because of concerns regarding the harvest of halibut below optimal harvesting size (Hoag, 1971; Skud, 1977). This gear restriction caught the discarding of all halibut, and halibut being banned.
Growing in halibut bycatch followed the growth of groundfish fisheries, which started in the early 1960’s. Up through the 1950’s, trawling by U.S. and Canadian boats for groundfish in the North Pacific was comparatively limited. Fishing by vessel from foreign nations, which began in the 1960’s, was developed. Halibut bycatch mortality was relatively small until the 1960’s, as it increased rapidly as a result of distant-water trawl fisheries from Japan, Korea, the U.S.S.R., Poland, and other states.
Total bycatch mortality is estimated to have peaked in 1965 at about 12,800 metric tons (t). Bycatch mortality declined during the late 1960’s as some of the earliest bycatch limitations (e.g. observers and grab accounting) were put into place by the USA, but increased to approximately 11,900 t in the early 1970’s when new locations and species (e.g. walleye pollock) were exploited. Throughout the 1970’s and early 1980’s, halibut bycatch dropped to approximately 7,100 t, as fishing off Alaska came under control.
From 1985 the lowest level since the International Pacific Halibut Commission started its monitoring. Bycatch mortality then increased through the late 1980’s, because of the rise of the U.S. groundfish fishery off Alaska and the absence of restrictions on that growing fishery. Mortality appeared in 1992 at 12,240 t, but it declined to 7,417 t. The decrease can be attributed to management regulations which encouraged more effective fishing practices and the introduction of quota management applications for the longline fishery in Alaska, the sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria and the floor fish bottom trawl fishery in British Columbia.
International Halibut Prohibition
Throughout the 1960’s and early 1970’s, regulation of foreign fishing fleets in U.S. waters resulted from bilateral agreements between the USA and the federal government of the international fleet (e.g. Japan, U.S.S.R., etc.). The agreements identified time intervals and areas when the fishery wasn’t permitted to operate.
This a “patchwork” of areas within the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands closed to groundfish fishing at different times of the year. Agreements devised in the 1960’s were directed at reducing equipment conflicts between foreign operations and the North American halibut longline fishery. Usually, international trawling was banned during the 5-15-day period surrounding the halibut fishery seasons created by International Pacific Halibut Commission (Fredin). Some decrease was provided by time/area closures by fisheries in the bycatch.
The first effort to restrain the halibut bycatch in a foreign fishery off Alaska began in 1973 when the International Pacific Halibut Commission suggested to its member authorities that foreign trawling be banned in some areas of the Bering Sea when the prevalence of halibut was high. Japan responded by voluntarily refraining from trawling in specific regions within the eastern Bering Sea from 1 Dec. 1973 through 31 Nov.. 1974. These time/area closures and similar steps for the Gulf of Alaska were part of following bilateral agreements between the USA and Japan, the U.S.S.R. The Republic of Korea, and Poland during 1975 and 1976 illustrates the extensive nature of this time/area closures enacted on the Japanese fishery operating off Alaska during that time.
Is that Time/area closures were used to control bycatch. Limits weren’t a part of the measures employed due to the lack. A couple of observers were placed on foreign vessels as part of a joint application by International Pacific Halibut Commission., NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and International North Pacific Fisheries Commission to acquire better information on the size of the halibut bycatch (Hoag and French, 1976), but coverage was restricted. Bycatch with limitations was believed to be impractical at that time.
Impacts of Extended Jurisdiction And the function of the International Pacific Halibut Commission
The adoption of exclusive economic zones (EEZ) out to 200 n.mi. in 1977 By the USA and Canada mandated the development of fishery management Plans that included many of the control measures fisheries. Except for foreign fleets from fishing Within the exclusive economic zones of the USA and Canada starting in 1977 For lower bycatch mortality should have improved.
This proved to be the case as purely fishing was replaced With fishing, with catcher vessels Chips (Williams et al., 1989). Observers aboard the joint-venture Processors which Applied to catcher vessels fishing. By 1985, The halibut bycatch mortality had dropped to 4,644 t from the first amount of over 11,000 t at the start of the joint-venture fishing.
The perception of increased economic opportunity spawned a significant initiative in the fisheries dominated by processors on involvement. This “Americanization” of the Alaska trawl fisheries started in earnest around 1985, and entirely domestic operations quickly managed to harvest the total available catch.
Of catching and this premise, processing capability was complete. Harvesters should have been expected to exercise more harvesting policies concerning bycatch mortality because these policies’ benefits could accrue to the sector. However, monitoring and controls applied to overseas and joint-venture fisheries weren’t mirrored by similar steps for the newly-domesticated fisheries (Salveson et al., 1992). Bycatch mortality of halibut in national fisheries increased steadily from 1985 through 1992, peaking at over 12,000 t (Salveson et al., 1992).
The halibut bycatch mortality and the effect of U.S. halibut bycatch on catch limits for the halibut fishery off Canada resulted in a confrontation in the 1991 International Pacific Halibut Commission Annual Meeting between U.S. and Canadian agents (International Pacific Halibut Commission, 1992). The bycatch levels, which caused declines in yield were. After much debate and negotiation, the Commission passed a resolution addressing bycatch mortality (Salveson et al., 1992). Through the settlement, the Commission created a Halibut Bycatch Work Group (HBWG) to examine scientific issues and to:
- Review management steps Being implemented to control and reduce bycatch, and advise that the Commission on their adequacy.
- Recommend additional Steps which could be taken to minimise bycatch.
- Determine suitable target levels for bycatch mortality reduction.
Halibut Bycatch Work Group
The recommendations of this Halibut Bycatch Work Group were adopted formally by both countries in 1991 (International Pacific Halibut Commission, 1992). Although recommendations of this group were into the International Pacific Halibut Commission. The proposal from the Halibut Bycatch Work Group was from Alaska to get a 10 percent annual reduction in mortality, starting in 1993.
Bycatch Control in U.S. and Canadian Domestic Fisheries
The recommendations adopted between Canada and the United States established a goal and both decrease milestones. Assessing and reducing halibut bycatch mortality in waters off Alaska is governed by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) and comparable jurisdiction for waters off Canada is vested in the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). While both countries implemented some steps to accomplish the reduction objectives, a substantial difference was in one measure and the results.
For Alaska waters, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council adopted a range of Prohibited Species Catch (PSC) caps for halibut, by target fishery and equipment. Requirements accompanied These measures. Vessels higher than 38 m in length must have 100% observer coverage, while ships between 19.8-38 m in length are required to have observer coverage for 30 percent of sea days (U.S. Dep. Commer.
The Council hasn’t been able to reconcile this goal with its goals even though the International Pacific Halibut Commission has transmitted the reduction target and milestones to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has instituted measures like careful discharge programs to reduce mortality prices.
A boat incentive program involving penalties for exceeding special bycatch rates in selected target fisheries was also introduced but was unsuccessful because boat crews could conceal halibut from observers, and the audience catch sampling didn’t have the statistical properties to allow for prosecution (Renko, 1998). Bycatch mortality declined 17 percent from 1993 to 2000, as national fleets improved equipment, employed better launch practices when shedding halibut, conducted fishing seasonally to prevent high halibut bycatch, and were handled by bycatch mortality limits. But, there have been only modest reductions in bycatch mortality in Alaskan fisheries since 2000.
For the waters off Canada, the source of mortality is the groundfish fishery. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans started to institute measures to control and reduce mortality after the 1991 agreement while the Halibut Bycatch Work Group failed to identify specific reduction goals for the fishery. The most crucial step introduced by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans was an Individual Bycatch Quota (IBQ) for every trawl vessel engaging in outside water fisheries in 1995.
This measure was specific and was accompanied by a requirement for observer validation of all hauls. If the individual Bycatch Quota (IBQ) for a place was captured, farther fishing by that boat in that region for the rest of the fishing year was banned. Reduction in halibut bycatch mortality was a remarkable 85 percent by 1997, and mortality has remained close to this level since that time.
This decrease was achieved through changes in fishing patterns by time and region, in addition to through reductions in the fishing effort such as Pacific cod. The Individual Bycatch Quota process’ Power is underscored by the fact that vessels catch on an individual vessel basis. The decrease in bycatch mortality can be divided into three important elements: decrease the experiences of the equipment and the bycatch species, reduce the retention of struck fish by the equipment, and increase the survival of fish that are retained but then discarded. The probability of mortality presents these components, so it’s apparently desirable to effect reduction through reduction of experiences between the fishing equipment as well as the species.
Decreasing Encounters with Bycatch Species
Decreasing experiences with bycatch species are knowledge-based, i.e. the harvesters must know this supply and behaviour of the species to be able to avoid encounters. This knowledge can be obtained from both private and collective experience. By way of instance, in Alaska, this collective skill is used in a formalised manner through a joint arrangement among several harvesters, performed by the business group Ground Fish Forum (Gauvin et al., 1996). In the program observers aboard those vessels that are trawl estimate bycatch and catch.
These data are submitted to a repository, where they’re assessed and extrapolated to add hauls. Vessel-specific bycatch rates are faxed to participating vessels within 24 h. Similarly, the International Pacific Halibut Commission has analysed halibut size frequency data obtained by observers on Bering Sea trawlers to identify areas of the consistently vast abundance of juvenile size classes of halibut (Adlerstein and Trumble, 1998). These data sources provide information which allows harvesters to avoid areas of high halibut abundance, thereby minimising the rate at which the Prohibited Species Catch caps are approached and enabling more significant harvest of the target species.
Knowledge of fish behaviour may allow harvesters to minimise experiences. By way of instance, in the Pacific cod bottom trawl fishery in Alaska, halibut bycatch rates increase nocturnally since the target species (cod) climbs off the base during darkness. Preventing fishing through the night can reduce the catch rate. Although this knowledge has been used a whole lot of Pacific cod fishing. In this region occurs during the winter season, once the hours of darkness are a percentage of the hours daily.
Decreasing Retention of Halibut
Decreasing retention of halibut struck by the fishing equipment was an area of research. The growth of gear modifications to either prevent capture or allow escape of halibut from trawl gear has used the collective experience of both harvesters and agency scientists (Rose, 1996; Stone and Bublitz, 1996). Industry groups like the Earth Fish Forum have worked in trawls that permit the escape of halibut but keep a percentage of the groundfish target species catch to test devices with the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Rose and Gauvin (2000) revealed that, in evaluations of elastic halibut excluder panels, just 6 percent of the halibut were kept while 62 percent of the aggregate deep-water flatfish was held. The retention rates for flatfish species ranged from 48-79%. This work is essential because separation is a much more challenging task than separation.
Another significant part of the work is the openness of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to give an Experimental Fishing Permit (EFP) for the job, allowing cost reduction through retention and sale of the target species from the vessels running the experiment (Karp et al., 2001). In the absence of an Experimental Fishing Permit, the job would have exceeded both authorities and the funding ability of industry.
Increasing Halibut Survival
If the equipment retained halibut or other bycatch species during fishing for target species, bycatch mortality can be reduced through improving the survival of incidentally. Generally speaking, raising this endurance means releasing the fish carefully and quickly. The issues include sorting the species to allow release, or releasing the species before it encounters damage during the process or the catching.
Smith (1996) describes the development and application of three National Marine Fisheries Service mandated procedures of the particular release of halibut captured incidentally into the Pacific cod longline fishery in Alaska. The three methods cautious vibration, hook straightening, and gangion cutting all enhance halibut survival compared with the conventional practice of “homing” or “crucifying” the fish (basically, ripping the hook from the mouth of the fish).
The adoption of the cautious release program led to a 36 percent decrease in the discard mortality rate for halibut in this fishery (Trumble, 1996). To be able to assign a mortality rate, however, a characteristic of steps aimed at increasing survival of halibut is the requirement for observations on the state of fish. Discard mortality rates are calculated from fish condition variables, as assessed by observers using objective criteria, and validated through tag-recovery experiments employing the exact criteria for determining the status of tagged fish released.
A quick sorting of halibut from floor fish catches that are mixed-species can reduce the mortality rate of halibut. Trumble et al. (1995) analysed the use of grid sorting grates on earth fish trawlers to accelerate the extraction of halibut from mixed species catches of roundish. The grills were effective at reducing the time needed to return caught halibut into the sea. The use of the measure requires the existence of observers also to validate changes and to monitor halibut returned to the sea’s state. In the case of factory trawlers, this action conflicted directly with other priority monitoring and sampling duties of the observers, and the measure wasn’t implemented in the fishery (Trumble et al., 1995).
Mortality reduction measures’ effectiveness is associated with the amount. A hierarchy of the efficacy runs from mortality control, through fleet or sector control. Mortality management is the only option when a combined or regulatory framework for monitoring and control doesn’t exist.
By way of instance, limitations on bycatch mortality in fisheries off the coast of North America occurred at the national level. That is, each nation was assigned a total mortality cap, to. This worldwide degree of management was used primarily because the punishment for noncompliance (exception from fishing) was acute and the countries involved exercised control over the respective fishing firms comprising their national fleets. However, the benefits of compliance (access to fishing) accrued at the state level, as opposed to at the boat level.
Fleet level control or sector typifies the approach to halibut control in the waters. Prohibited Species Catch caps are assigned to industries or fleets that target specific species or species aggregates, e.g. deep-water flatfish, (Dover sole, Microstomus pacificus; Greenland turbot, Reinhardtius Hippoglossoides; and deep-sea only real Embassichthys bathybius), rockfish (Sebastes spp.), Pollock (Theragra chalcogramma), etc..
Since they limit the actions of those fleets as a function of bycatch these Prohibited Species Catch caps are sufficient to control measures. Prohibited Species Catch caps exist for king crab; Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, Chinook salmon; and other species like herring, Clupea pallasii pallasii. However, the benefits of compliance accrue at the fleet level, as opposed to in the individual vessel level. Benefits and duties are distributed functions.
The Individual Bycatch Quota experience described demonstrates the best and final level of management. These controls are applied and provide incentives and penalties based on activities by each boat. Individual incentives’ value lies in the feedback for boat bycatch. In comparison with the other two degrees of management, vessels can’t be penalised and lose the opportunity.
Halibut Bycatch Mortality Reduction’s Future
Bycatch mortality of Pacific halibut in fisheries off the coast of North America hasn’t yet attained the goals agreed upon by Canada and the USA in 1991. There has been progressing in some areas, such as cooperative and advanced research initiatives by business and fishery management agencies. Progress on two issues will determine the future of bycatch management and reduction.
The first issue is the introduction of a U.S. regulatory environment which will allow the development of incentives and penalties in the third, or individual, level of management we’ve described. Achievement of reduction goals will require translation of policy. These benefits will have to accrue at the level of the individual vessel because that’s the primary level of financial expression for many U.S. fisheries.
In the absence of a regulatory environment, it’s very likely that the fishing industry will have to keep its efforts get the economic advantages of catches of target species and to decrease bycatch. This activity will be required to avoid imposition of controls on fishing activities, which are most likely to happen as bycatch issues attract attention and intervention by stakeholders like environmental groups.
Upon which, progress on reduction may depend the issue on concerns the development of new technologies for monitoring the compliance with management measures that are bycatch. Many steps currently considered require tracking and validation via at sea observer programs (ASOP). If observers are on the boat the average cost of an ASOP for each vessel can be higher or US$ 300-400. Expansion of fleets controls into business, or ships may tax the viability of the fisheries, in addition to both observer providers’ capacities.
New technology, such as video cameras and shipboard equipment tracking applications connected, and potential is provided by installations at cost than an ASOP, for some kinds of information acquisition. All functions conducted by an ASOP cannot be fulfilled by these technologies they may offer a way to focus observer actions while applications assume monitoring functions on tasks that can be human-based. We see this as a significant area of advancement and development.