Bycatch and Prohibited Species Catch in Groundfish and Shellfish Fisheries in Alaska
Fish species that are not targeted and are discarded are considered bycatch or incidental catch. Interactions that result in the mortality or injury of marine mammals and seabirds are also bycatch. Certain species taken incidentally in Alaska's groundfish fisheries are called Prohibited Species Catch (PSC).
Bycatch in Alaska
Fishermen participating in fisheries off Alaska sometimes catch and discard fish they do not want, cannot sell, or are not allowed to keep. These unwanted fish are collectively known as bycatch. Fishery interactions that result in mortality or injury of marine mammals and seabirds are also a bycatch concern.
The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) requires that bycatch be minimized to the extent practicable. In the Alaska Region, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries have adopted measures to limit the catch of species taken incidentally in groundfish fisheries. Certain species are designated as “prohibited species” in the fishery management plans because they are the target of other, fully utilized domestic fisheries. Prohibited species catch (PSC) include Pacific halibut, Pacific herring, Pacific salmon, steelhead trout, king crab, and Tanner crab.
Bycatch Information and Programs
- Fisheries Catch, Landings, and Prohibited Species Catch Reports
- Chinook Salmon Bycatch
- Chum Salmon Bycatch
- Crab Bycatch
- Groundfish catch share programs for reducing groundfish bycatch
- Halibut Bycatch
- Amendment 111 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the BSAI to Revise BSAI Halibut Prohibited Species Catch Limits
- BSAI Halibut Abundance-Based Management
- Halibut Bycatch Information
- Seabird Bycatch