Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Updated Chum salmon numbers

In the 10 Area 3 gillnet openings up to July 21, approx. 47,197 chum have been harvested.
This compares to a total of only about 23,000 for all of last season. Remember, this is a stock of conservation concern on the north coast for the last few years with no directed fisheries supposed to occur on them. This policy is in the IFMP and it is also what DFO tells the MSC certification process they are doing to conserve this depressed stock.

So, to allow killing 50,000 chum as bycatch basically seems to fly in the face of any conservation concern. DFO North Coast has mentioned the possibility that alot of these chum are actually of S.E. Alaskan origin, but no specifics have been made public on what proportions are presumed.

Either way it appears a very large bycatch impact is being absorbed by this stock of concern. Plus, we didnt factor in any seine release mortalities.

In the Nisga'a Updates we see the concern for north coast chum quite apparent. Copied from a recent Nisga'a Fisheries Update:
In addition, for the past two years the returns of Nass area chum have been well below the minimum escapement goal and concern for stock status has been raised by Nisga’a Fisheries to DFO. The overall stock status of Nass area chum since 2000 has prevented the opportunity to utilize the Nisga’a entitlement underages (~28,000) that occurred in the early years of implementing the Nisga’a treaty (2000 to 2002). When returns have been above the escapement goal, the majority of the Nisga’a entitlement of Nass area chum has been foregone since 2002 in an attempt to rebuild stocks.

The Nisga’a harvest estimate of Nass chum to date is 79. The total includes FSC catch (79) to week ending 18 July. No Nisga’a sale fisheries for Nass chum are being permitted in 2009 to allow stock rebuilding in Area 3.

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