Chinook Salmon Bycatch Management in Alaska
Chinook salmon are accidentally caught in the federally managed pollock and non-pollock trawl fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI).
In 2016, Amendment 110 was implemented to improve the management of Chinook and chum salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery by creating a comprehensive salmon bycatch avoidance program. This action was necessary to minimize Chinook and chum salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery while maintaining the potential for the full harvest of the pollock total allowable catch within specified prohibited species catch (PSC) limits.
In 2015, Amendment 97 established annual Chinook salmon PSC limits for all groundfish trawl fisheries except for pollock in the Western and Central Gulf of Alaska (GOA). It also established incentives for reducing Chinook salmon PSC for the trawl C/P and Non-Rockfish Program CV sectors, and established seasonal Chinook salmon PSC limits for the trawl C/P sector.
In 2012, Amendment 93 was implemented in the GOA to limit the amount of Chinook salmon caught in the pollock fishery. Amendment 93 establishes separate PSC limits in the Central and Western GOA for Chinook salmon, which would cause NMFS to close the directed pollock fishery in the Central or Western regulatory areas of the GOA, if the applicable limit is reached. This action also requires retention of salmon by all vessels in the Central and Western GOA pollock fisheries until the catch is delivered to a processing facility where an observer is provided the opportunity to count the number of salmon and to collect scientific data or biological samples from the salmon.
Amendment 91 was an approach to managing Chinook salmon bycatch in the BSAI pollock fishery that combined a limit on the amount of incidentally caught Chinook salmon with incentive plan agreements and performance standards. The program was designed to minimize bycatch to the extent practicable in all years, and prevent bycatch from reaching the limit in most years, while providing the pollock fleet with the flexibility to harvest the total allowable catch. NOAA Fisheries implemented this program for the 2011 BSAI pollock fishery.
AFA and CDQ Pollock Fisheries Resources
- Applications and Reporting Forms
- Electronic Monitoring
- Salmon Bycatch Reports (BSAI and GOA)
- Chinook Incidental Catch Reports in Groundfish Fisheries (GOA and BSAI)
Regulations and Management Actions
- Federal Register Rules and Notices
- BSAI Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP)
- GOA Groundfish Fishery Management Plan
- Bering Sea Chinook Salmon Bycatch Management Environmental Impact Statement and other analyses
Incentive Plan Agreements
On October 1, 2010, NOAA Fisheries received three proposed chinook salmon bycatch reduction incentive plan agreements. On November 5, 2010, all three incentive plan agreements were approved. On July 11, 2016, Amendment 110 was implemented to improve the management of Chinook and chum salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock fishery. All three IPAs were amended to meet the new IPA requirements. These amendments were approved prior to the start of the 2017 BSAI pollock fishery.
- Chinook Salmon Bycatch Reduction Incentive Plan and Agreement (PDF)
- Mothership Salmon Savings Incentive Plan Agreement (PDF)
- Inshore Chinook Salmon Savings Incentive Plan Agreement (PDF)
- Non-chinook Salmon Bycatch Management
- Bycatch in Alaska
- Salmon Fisheries Management
- North Pacific Fishery Management Council - Salmon Bycatch Information
- Exempted Fishing Permits
- Tribal Consultations
- American Fisheries Act (AFA) Pollock Fisheries Management
- Community Development Quota
- Federal Fisheries in Alaska