Freezer longline conservation voluntary cooperative

May 21, 2010 -- The Freezer Longline Conservation Cooperative is making plans to start its new voluntary cooperative fishing program for Alaska cod on August 15, 2010. This voluntary program will end the "race for fish" that has characterized the Alaska freezer longline fishery since its inception in the 1980s. Fishing for Alaska cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands will be spread over a longer than normal period, with some boats expected to continue fishing into December. The harvest for this "B" season fishery will total around 40,000 mts of Alaska cod, depending on final adjustments by National Fisheries Service.

Fishing in the 2011 "A" season will start early January and continue into April, as a smaller fleet of boats will be needed to harvest the expected quota over a longer season. Plans for the 2011 "B" season will depend upon changes that will be requested in the start date allowed by regulations, but some boats could be targeting "B" season quotas as early as June. Fishing is expected to continue again into December.

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