Fishermen say they can harvest 20,000 to 30,000 pounds of halibut in a single day, only to harvest next to nothing the next when a pod of killer whales recognizes their boat. The hooks will be stripped clean, longtime Bering Sea longliner Jay Hebert said in a phone interview this week. Sometimes there will be just halibut “lips” still attached to hooks — if anything at all.
In a letter he sent to the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council last month, Hanson described a series of challenges he faced in recent years. On a trip to the continental shelf in April he said his crew was “harassed nonstop.” He wrote that they lost approximately 12,000 pounds of sellable halibut to the whales and wasted 4,000 gallons of fuel trying to outrun them.
Another time he drove his boat out to the edge where he’s allowed to fish, an isolated area …
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