Ghost Fishing in the Southeast Alaska Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery

Daniel Cardenas

North American Journal of Fisheries Management
Volume 33,  Issue 2, 2013

The dungeness crab fishery is an already struggling  fishery in Southeast Alaska. Ghost fishing is  derelict  fishing gear that continues to fish, it can have substantial effect on commercial fisheries such as crabbing in Southeast. How do these gears start ghost fishing? There are biotic and abiotic  factors, humans that due to gear conflicts, will be hauled to deep water, or the lines will be cut. Abiotic factors that can result in lost gear are, storms, sedimentation and ice cover. Ghost gear that traps these crabs can lead to  increase  predation by species such as octopus, increased cannibalism, and starvation. Ghost fishing in the southeast dungeness crab fishing is estimated to only affect 3% of the  commercial crab fishery  annually. This paper challenges the current escape mechanisms and  presents  alternatives.

Dungeness Crab PotsDungeness Crab Pots I stacked this summer.

4 thoughts on “Ghost Fishing in the Southeast Alaska Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery”

  1. I had never thought about abiotic factors causing an increase in ghost fishing like you stated. This was very interesting to read about and even more catching because it is so close to home. What do you think the most effective alternative is that was presented in the article?

  2. I wonder the possible effect of assigning fines for lost pots or other types of gear? As a fishermen I would hate this but it could help reduce the amount of ghost fishing gear entering the oceans. Though it would be incredibly hard to enforce a new policy like that.

  3. are these fishermen using the degradable nets and gear that has started to become more popular? And maybe a type of issued tag could be placed on all gear to certain boats so when retrieved the boat who lost the gear could be fined?

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