Opposing the Industrial Trawl Fleet’s Devastating Bycatch

Thanks to the foresight and advocacy efforts of fishermen, conservationists, community members, tribal advocates, and local government, we have smaller-scale commercial fisheries here in Southeast Alaska and we banned trawl fishing gear. These local small boat fleets of fishermen and family-owned businesses help deliver more sustainable seafood to the market while ensuring sustainable management of this valuable resource so important to our ways of life. Unfortunately, what we have here in Southeast Alaska is not the case state-or world-wide.

Banned in Southeast Alaska, large scale industrial trawling, the practice of dragging a net through the water or along the bottom of the ocean and indiscriminately catching everything in its path, is run by large scale corporate fisheries operations across Alaska and the world. Trawl fleets and at sea processors that target pollock and flat fish have a tremendous annual bycatch of king salmon, halibut, and all other species. These are the boats providing low cost fish protein to the market worldwide, in the form of fish sticks and fast food sandwiches. While we all want access to fish for all, we do not believe this should come at such a great cost to coastal and rural communities, Tribes and indigenous peoples across Alaska.

At SCS, we fight against the damaging practices of the industrial trawl fleet targeting pollock and organize opposition to policies that continue to allow, encourage, and enable wasteful bycatch of salmon, halibut, crab, and all other species in our federally-managed fisheries.