lost commercial gear

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halibuthitman

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So today a boy about 8 yrs old asked to look at my boat and I invited him an his father onboard, as I showed the little guy around he turned to me and asked " what happens to the gear when we lose it in the ocean " and it hit me. wow how many wonder this same question? so here it is.

I am A halibut and sablfish longliner, on any given day we run up to 20000 hooks on sets of gear that averages 2.5 miles of gear for 1 set and run around 3 sets on a good day, large circle hooks baited with salmon or gray cod are spaced 12 ft apart on gangions that come off a ground line of leaded poly line on each set we have anchors and buoy lines on each end giving us two ends to retrieve this gear from.... we have to get it all back, if we don't that set will "ghost fish" for up to a year. the by catch on a lost set will catch larger fish and on and on until fresh fish no longer eat the fish on the hooks or the hook rots away from electrolises. even bare hooks can re-fish. we have other options such as chain drags to retrieve gear that has parted off several times and more often than not lost gear is cause by catching lost gear the japanese lost in the 1950 and 60,s last year I lost 2 skates for a total of 150 hooks, I also retrieved over 50 skates of forienge lost gear which we bundle up and throw in the dump in the next port.

Nets are a whole nother story, a gill net or drift net made out of mono will ghost fish for eterntiy or until it ends up on the beach and starts killing birds and mammals. much like the bundles of line sportfishermen leave all over the banks of our rivers.. it will kill until it is recovered. gillnets are never lost.. only put adrift by lost boats or very unethical fishermen who chop nets to get the set, the corks on the top of the net keep it afloat making it easily recoverable, but unfortunately the gillnet fishery is one of the most unprofessional fisheries in the world. drift nets are dumped when they are old by japanese factory boats that must get rid of the evidence of their illegal actions... these kill turtles whales birds fish and sometimes even boats when it gets caught in the props during foul weather.

crab fishermen have one of the highest gear loss ratios of any fishery. all states require crab gear to have a section of the pot web secured with cotton line we call bio, bio rots out in less than a month and the pot is no longer fishing, screw on zincs we put in the pots rot off in about two months and the stainless wire against the black steel frame begin to rot from electrollises and the pot is gone in around 5 yrs.. the buoys and line tend to end up on the walls of peoples house in cannon beach and astoria.
This is a very basic overview of fisheries you see in oregon, if you have a question about how something is done or where it ends up just ask, I will answer honestly if I know the answer. - good fishing
 
Irishrover

Irishrover

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Thanks for the information. It reminded me that I'm never too old to learn.;)
 
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Fishtopher

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Who knows?! Not me!
:clap:

i knew you were a commercial fisherman, but been wantin' to ask exactly what you do since last month sometime. hard work?

educational post man. thank you.
 
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halibuthitman

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:clap:

i knew you were a commercial fisherman, but been wantin' to ask exactly what you do since last month sometime. hard work?

educational post man. thank you.

sometimes it can be hard, but it beats driving in portland at 7 am every morning!:shock: I love what I do and the halibut fishery is considered the world benchmark as a perfectly managed fishery... the halibut biomass in alaskan waters is higher now than any other time recorded history. but like the old saying goes, do something you love, and you will never work a day in your life!;)
 
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halibuthitman

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as far as crew, how many guys does it take to run a trip?

three deckhands and a captain, some boats have up to 5 deckhands. Im leaving on my last trip of the year from seward today, catch 15,000 lbs of halibut and run them iced all the way to seattle, kinda like cruising se alaska its my second most favorite trip of the year. I will be harrasing sturgeon again by next thursday!!!:dance: good fishin fishtopher-
 
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Fishtopher

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Who knows?! Not me!
Soooo, are you a captain or deckhand?

Is there a high turnover rate in your field?

And has the economy taken a toll on your business?
 
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halibuthitman

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Soooo, are you a captain or deckhand?

Is there a high turnover rate in your field?

And has the economy taken a toll on your business?

Half the time I drive, the rest of the time im a neck down unit,
no, not on any good boat
and no, halibut is a domestic product, sablefish is a japanese product, so the yen has save my year, Im actually doing better than the last 3 yrs

and if you are sniffin around for a job.... call me the day after you graduate from a university, I will get you a job the next season... promise;)
 
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