Puget Sound Orca Whales Competing with Pollock Trawlers for Chinook Salmon

At the June 2019 North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting, scientist from the National Marine Fishery Service explained the origin and homewaters of Chinook Salmon that were landed in 2017 as bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska Pollock fishery.

In the chart below, the study showed that the overwhelming majority of the bycaught salmon call home the waters of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California.

page 11 from report below -

page 11 from report below -

Through rigorous genetic sampling of Chinook Salmon landed by the trawl sector, scientist were able to determine where these salmon originated from in North America and Asia.

Additional detail can be found in the following Salmon Genetic Stock Analysis for the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.

Please see below for the published slide deck of the Salmon Genetic Stock Analysis for the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.

The virtually unobserved Gulf of Alaska trawl industry is already lobbying the Council to increase the number of salmon they are allowed to bycatch in anticipation of Washington State’s proposed increase in hatchery salmon that are being produced to help save Puget Sound resident Orca populations.

IG 2 Trawl Observer Coverage 3.0.svg.png