About UsLIGHT WEIGHT LOW IMPACT FIHING GEAR
RESPONSIBLE FISHING PRACTICES
CERTIFIED TO THE MARINE STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL
HIGHEST QUALITY PRODUCT
The mission of the Freezer Longline Coalition is to promote public policy that facilitates the intelligent and orderly harvest of Pacific cod and other groundfish species in the BS, AI and GOA, to encourage the reduction of waste and improvement of resource utilization in the longline fishery, to encourage the reduction of incidental catch of non-target species in the longline fisheries, to support research and public education about the longline fisheries, and to represent longline fishery interests in matters concerning the management and regulation of the longline fishery with respect to target species and protected resources.
The FLC is a Section 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that represents the owners and operators of the vessels that participate in the freezer longline, or catcher processor hook-and-line sector of the Pacific cod fishery in the federal waters of the Bering Sea (“BS”) Aleutian Islands (“AI”) and the Gulf of Alaska (“GOA”).
The longline fishery is based and serviced in the States of Alaska and Washington, with freezer longline-caught Pacific cod marketed and sold in the Pacific Northwest. Freezer longline-caught cod provides between $150-200 million in annual export revenues to the Nation. The longline fishery creates more than 1,200 full time positions , has more than 30 modern vessels with fish processing and freezing capabilities on board, and community businesses that repair vessels and sell supplies rely on the fishery to sustain jobs.
The FLC and its members are committed to the protection of the environment of the BS, AI and GOA, and to ensuring that the living marine resources of the BS, AI and GOA are managed and conserved to enhance the health and productivity of the ecosystem. This commitment is exemplified by the fact that the longline fishery was the first cod fishery in the world to obtain certification by the Marine Stewardship Council as a sustainable, eco-friendly, and well-managed fishery. Additionally, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “Seafood Watch” guide – a product endorsed Oceana, and the Environmental Defense Fund has for the many years given longline-caught Pacific cod the highest and best rating. See, e.g., http://na.oceana.org/en/living-blue/seafood-guide.
The longline fishery is primarily a Pacific cod single-species directed fishery and, therefore, is nearly fully reliant on Pacific cod. In fact over 90% of the longline fishery’s income derives from directed fishing for Pacific cod. The vessels that participate in the longline fishery – “freezer longliners” – are unique vessels that use specialized lines and individually baited hooks (as opposed to nets or pots) to catch fish. The fishing and processing methods used by the fishery have little to no impact on the ocean floor, ensure a low rate of bycatch mortality, and produce the highest quality products for the highest market prices. The fishery is best exemplified by the age old adage of taking the time to put quality first or “quality not quantity” standards.
Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) is distributed widely in the North Pacific and is neither overfished nor approaching an overfished condition. Pacific cod is targeted by a variety of fisheries that use multiple gear types, including trawl, longline, pot, and jig. The longline fishery is managed under a federal license limitation program. Participants in the longline fishery hold federal license limitation program permits with federal Pacific cod endorsements issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service (“NMFS”) allowing their vessels to participate in the longline fishery.