Friday, June 26, 2009

Area 3 Prelim Season Outlook

Using the DFO Area Chief's Update again, we see the sockeye forecast for Area 3 to be approx. 515,000 with 325,000 reserved for spawning, Treaty, and FSC (food fish) requirements. This leaves 190,000 for commercial harvest with the same allocation split as Area 4, 75% to gillnetters and the remaining 25% to seiners.
In the 2 gillnet openings so far in Area 3 they have caught 12,568 sockeye leaving 129,568 left to their target. If the catch rate from those 2 early openings continues, it would take 19 more gillnet openings to reach the target. Dont be too surprised at this number, as the 10 year average for Area 3 gillnet openings is just over 20. But this is 2009, not 1999, arent things supposed to be different with all the talk of the uncertainty of climate change, ocean survival, etc?

One more item to note is the allowance of letting gillnetters keep chum salmon as bycatch. Wonder why a stock of conservation concern on the north coast is allowed to be killed for .40 cents per pound as a bycatch extra? I guess it might have something to do with the 60-70% mortality rate of a gillnet encounter....

Anyway, in forecast terms, this sets the stage for Area 3 to absorb the restrictions possibly placed on Area 4. This is the old 'out of sight, out of mind' technique perfected by north coast DFO. By shuffling most of the fishing off to remote Area 3 less people notice and complain...and the commercial guys get to fish alot.

Possibly more info on other stocks might come from the Nisga'a updates when they start.

No comments: