The Beacon

The Human Side of Bycatch

Shrinking fish populations often dominate conversations on bycatch. As well they should – irresponsible fishing has left many of the world’s fisheries in dire straits, threatening species with extinction. But what of the human element of bycatch? For many fishing communities in Alaska, the pollock fishery and resulting king salmon bycatch paint a bleak picture for the winter ahead. While the Alaskan pollock fishery is the largest in the nation, small town salmon fishermen are being pushed into unemployment because their fish just simply aren’t there – they are bycatch for the big guys. Without salmon, Alaskan village economies are facing a tough future. Eliminating bycatch not only saves marine species, but the communities that depend on them.


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