I am looking for background material on other nations efforts to address
fishery discards through full retention requirements. In the U.S., the North
Pacific Fishery Management Council has adopted full retention requirements for
walleye pollock, pacific cod, yellowfin sole and rock sole which together
account for roughly 75% of discards in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands and Gulf
of Alaska. Assuming the adopted regulations are approved, the full retention
requirement for walleye pollock and P. cod will go into effect 1/1/98, and the
requirements for the two flatfish species five years later. As you may know,
the fisheries off Alaska have an established observer program.
I am working on a discussion paper of the full retention concept for groundfish
fisheries off the west coast of the U.S. This fishery focuses principally on
slope species (Sebastes sp, Sebastolobus sp, sablefish/black cod - Anaplopoma
fimbria, and Dover sole - Microstomus pacificus). It is generally conducted by
smaller boats than fisheries in Alaskan waters, and there is NO mandatory
observer program for the fisheries off of OR-WA-CA. Part of this effort is to
provide a review of other full retention/no discard programs which may have been
implemented elsewhere, including efficacy, enforcement problems, incentives
provided and unintended consequences.
More broadly, my research interests focus on the associations of demersal
fishes, and I hope to develop insights into demersal fish communities using
available commercial fisheries data sets. In addition to the obvious points of
reducing wastage and increasing conservatism in fisheries management, a full
retention requirement could rapidly increase our understanding of the
associations of fishes by making dock-side sampling much more informative.
Any information/literature references that folks could point me to describing
the experiences of Norway, the EU, or others would be helpful.
Thanks in advance!
Hal Weeks, Ph.D.
Bycatch Project Leader
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Marine Resources Program
2040 SE Marine Science Dr.
Newport, OR 97365
FX (541) 867-0311