Great news from The International Pacific Halibut Commission:
"The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) is proud to announce that it has been awarded a Bycatch Reduction and Engineering Program (BREP) grant for a project aimed at reducing whale depredation in the Pacific halibut longline fishery.
This study seeks to refine gear designed to remove longline captured fish near the ocean bottom and protect them from depredation by toothed whales during the hauling event. This gear was successfully pilot tested by the IPHC in the absence of whales, whereas this project will work to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of this gear with whales present.
The proposed work entails 10 days of longline sea trials using previously developed catch protection devices. The work is expected to be conducted aboard a commercial longline vessel in 2024.
Principal Investigators: Claude L. Dykstra and Dr. Ian Stewart
a) Assess the performance of catch protection devices.
b) Evaluate quantities, sizes, and quality of fish successfully entrained in the devices, as well as logistical parameters required to deploy the gear.
This grant underscores the commitment of IPHC to pioneer innovative solutions that promote sustainable fishing practices in the Pacific halibut fishery."
Text and pictures from The International Pacific Halibut Commission.