What’s the Story on By-Catch?

Sonia - August 11, 2015

Since all the products we carry are Ocean Wise recommended, you can be confident that the species population is abundant, stable, and well managed, but also that the fishing method used has a minimal environmental impact and minimal by-catch.

But what is by-catch? Most broadly, by-catch is defined as marine animals caught unintentionally during commercial fishing. It can be problematic or not. For example, pink salmon are an allowable by-catch of sockeye salmon gillnetting. The fisherman may have been targeting sockeye, but large pink salmon may also be ensnared in that same net. Since pink salmon are abundant, well-managed, and delicious, when we catch pinks in our sockeye net, we’re happy to be able to offer these wonderful fish to our members.

To give you an idea of the amount of by-catch caught by a salmon gillnetter, let’s use Shaun’s first 3 weeks of fishing as an example. Shaun caught over 900 salmon in his first 3 weeks and just 3 unintentionally caught fish: 1 was an allowable coho, 1 was a rat fish and 1 was a small ocean perch, the latter two of which were released and swam vigorously away.

So, you can feel confident that the ecological impact of fishing for your dinner is extremely low!

Shaun inspects his set gillnet in Barkley Sound where his only by-catch among over 400 sockeye salmon was a small ocean perch which was released in great condition.
Shaun inspects his set gillnet in Barkley Sound where his only by-catch among over 400 sockeye salmon was a small ocean perch which was released in great condition.

 

Sonia - August 11, 2015


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What’s the Story on By-Catch?

Sonia - August 11, 2015

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