Connecting Independent Research Surveys of Bering Sea Salmon Populations to Chum Salmon Bycatch

Researchers are using independent data to gain a fuller view of Groundfish in the Bering Sea.

Researchers during a a BASIS research cruise in the Bering Sea sort immature and maturing chum salmon catch. Photo by Jim Murphy

Researchers during a a BASIS research cruise in the Bering Sea sort immature and maturing chum salmon catch.

Although chum salmon bycatch has historically remained at low levels relative to their biomass in the Bering Sea, recent increases in chum salmon bycatch have generated concern over bycatch impacts on Alaskan salmon stocks and the effectiveness of regulatory measures used to control bycatch in the groundfish fisheries.

Member nations of the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (Canada, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States) developed the Bering-Aleutian Salmon International Survey (BASIS) in 2002 as an international cooperative research program designed to address concerns over the distribution, growth, and survival of salmon in the Bering Sea. By connecting information collected during BASIS research surveys to bycatch, we identify how size, foraging behavior, and foraging hotspots of chum salmon are important controlling factors of bycatch and bycatch potential in Bering Sea groundfish fisheries.

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