The IPHC Secretariat is conducting studies aimed at developing methods that involve modifications of fishing gear with the purpose of reducing Pacific halibut depredation and bycatch. Specific objectives in this area include 1) investigate new methods for whale avoidance and/or deterrence for the reduction of Pacific halibut depredation by whales (e.g. catch protection methods), and 2) investigate behavioral and physiological responses of Pacific halibut to fishing gear in order to reduce bycatch. Important management implications of these studies reside in improving estimations of mortality of Pacific halibut in the directed commercial fishery that will lead to improved estimates of stock productivity. Depending on the estimated magnitude of whale depredation, this may be included as another explicit source of mortality in the stock assessment and mortality limit setting process.
Studies on the development of gear-based approaches to catch protection as a means for minimizing whale depredation in the Pacific halibut longline fishery.
Gear modifications for bycatch reduction
Studies on how gear modifications can reduce bycatch of Pacific halibut in trawl fisheries and of non-Pacific halibut bycatch in the Pacific halibut longline fishery.