Saturday, June 25, 2011

Area 3 1st Gillnet Opening Catch

Here is the catch info from the first gillnet opening in the Nass:
Gillnet: June 19
125 boats participated 
Total harvest to date by gillnet:
6,801 Sockeye,
183 Chinook,
0 Coho, 0 Pink, and 0 Chum.
Total released to date: 0 Sockeye, 0 Chinook, 8 Coho, 5 Pink, 79 Chum, and 27 Steelhead.

You have to wonder how many of these "released" fish by the gllnetters are actually alive? Remember, 6 to 7 out of 10 fish that encounter a gillnet will be DOA...Why isnt DFO pushing for reducing the encounter rates in these openings? Chum salmon are a depressed stock of concern with no directed fisheries. Yet, in Area 3 we see annual bycatch figures for chum in the tens of thousands..and those are just the reported ones.
Moreover, look at the chinook figure of 183 killed. Yet, chinook are requested to be released as per the Fishery Notice request copied below. Hard to release $50 or $60 dollar fish I guess, especially if sockeye fishing is slow.
 There are a number of weak Chinook stocks in Area 3 that are currently in the
rebuilding phase. Fishers are requested to release all live Chinook to the
water with the least possible harm. Operating revival tanks are mandatory and
may be used to revive fish prior to release.

So what we see reflected in these first catch stats is 'status quo' from a management perspective. DFO says in the IFMP they want to reduce the chum impacts; rebuild weak chinook stocks; avoid catching valauble steelhead...etc.etc....And yet here we see the results of just another normal day gillnetting in Area 3 that totally contradicts all the DFO conservation oriented verbiage.
Get used to it as Area 3 usually sees up to 20 gillnet openings in a season.

Plus, the Nass sockeye return currently is below average according to Nisga'a Fisheries, but this opening occurred already and two more are planned for the 27th and 28th. Are managers rolling the dice while hoping some sockeye do show up?

No comments: