Ocean FAD Articles > 2nd Voyage 2009

Second fishing voyage observed aboard f/v "Katheryn Ann"
31 Oct 2009

The board of directors heard a report from Captain John Harder, of the 2nd observed voyage on board f/v "Katheryn Ann".

It was noted by John Harder that submitting daily fishing reports, "log books", is a requirement for all US registered fishing vessels. Canada also has stringent requirements for their fishing vessels. Both nations have a high compliance rate as almost 100% participation coming from fishing vessels.

It is further noted that other fishing nations have little to no regulations enforcing their fishing vessels, letting illegal, unidentified, and unreported(IUU) fishing to enter the world market. In some cases, more then 1/2 of foreign country's Tuna fishing vessels are not registered, let alone submit fish catch reports regarding fishing information. They are not in compliance with WCPFC. This undermines the countries that do so comply. 

Report as follows:

10/04 Vessel departed Westport, WA heading Northwest for Albacore Tuna fishing. Time spent making vessel ready for fishing.

0 fishing effort.

10/05 Vessel in position 47.00n x 126.30w, some 60 miles off the US Washington Coast, engaged in fishing.

53 Albacore Tuna taken, 0 Tuna seen with drift net marks.

10/06 Vessel staying in same area.

47 Albacore Tuna taken. Average size per Tuna was 14 lbs, 1 badly drift net marked fish was noted.(18 lb Tuna)

10/07 Vessel stayed in same area. Weather conditions improved.

108 Albacore Tuna were taken, 0 Tuna observed with driftnet markings.

10/08 Vessel remained in same location.

227 Albacore Tuna were taken, 2 Tuna noted with drift net markings.

Note was made drift net marked Tuna are larger (18 lb) than targeted Tuna size (14 lb) in the area. Larger Albacore Tuna are generally targeted by Pole (bait) fishing vessels and are located closer to the shore.

10/09 Vessel remained in the area of 47.00 x 126.30

32 Albacore taken, 0 Tuna with drift net marks. Fish observed to be migrating out of area.

10/10 Vessel moved East some 20 miles.

89 Albacore Tuna were taken, 2 Tuna encountered drift net markings. Both Tuna averaged 18-20 lb.

10/11 Vessel in the same area of 47.00n x 126.00w.

43 Albacore Tuna taken, 1 drift net marked Tuna was observed.

Note was made that Captain John Harder relayed information to other Captains, including "Pole" vessels, who may have noticed drift net marked fish. 3 different captains said they have seen 3-4 driftnet marked Tuna per day. These skippers said to be entering this information in their "log books". Most captains replied they would not have a clue, as they never leave the "wheelhouse" and do not handle the tuna. Only some captains are aware of what to look for, as far as indicating the "scratches" down the side of a Tuna, and no crew alerted as to, "pick them out", detect drift net marked fish as they come onboard. Much of captain John Harder's time was spent explaining how to detect the "scratched up" tuna to other skippers and their crews.

10/12 Vessel in same area

145 Albacore Tuna landed on board, 14 lb average. 3 driftnet marked Tuna noticed, 18 lb avg.

10/13 Vessel remained in same area. Weather getting rough.

12 Albacore Tuna taken on board, 0 Tuna with drift net markings.

10/14-16 Vessel returned to Westport, WA for rudder repairs, then regained fishing.

10/17  Vessel returns to same area of 47.00n x 126.30w for observation

7 Albacore Tuna taken, 0 drift net marked Tuna

10/18 Vessel in same area.

130 Albacore Tuna taken. Average size 14 lb. No Tuna noticed to be "scratched" by drift nets.

10/19 Vessel moved 60 miles South to position 45.00n x 126.50w.

722 Albacore Tuna were landed, 12 Tuna observed having drift net markings. Average size 15+ lb.

10/20 Vessel remained in same location.

509 Albacore Tuna taken, 7 Tuna reported "scratched" from dift nets.

10/21 Vessel in same area.

288 Albacore Tuna landed, 1 drift net "scratched" Tuna reported. Approximate wight of 16 lb.

10/22-28 Vessel remained in same general area during this period.

Average catch rate was 200-400 Albacore Tuna per day. Average number of drift net marked Tuna was 1 per day.

10/29 Vessel returning to Westport WA. to end observed fishing trip.

10/31 Vessel unloaded 66,000 lbs of Albacore Tuna and report was made.

In conclusion, and entered with submitted fishing report sent to NMFS, John Harder asks the question of why are there still drift net marked Tuna fish and how dose submitting fish reports benefit the fishery? After 20 years, IUU high seas drift nets still persist. Yet do the NMFS pass on the concern of the stakeholders (fishermen)?

John Harder