| Estimates of Total U.S. harbor porpoise bycatch in the Gulf of Maine sink gill-net fishery - :5374 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
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Estimates of Total U.S. harbor porpoise bycatch in the Gulf of Maine sink gill-net fishery
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    Northeast Fisheries Science Center (U.S.)
  • Description:
    "Information on abundance and by-catch of harbor porpoise In the Gulf of Maine (GOM) and Bay of Fundy (BOF) suggests that large numbers of animals are being removed from a relatively small population. One component of the bycatch is due to the U.S. sink gillnet fishery operating In the GOM, for which annual harbor porpoise by-catch In excess of 600 has been suggested (Polacheck 1989). To determine whether harbor porpoise bycatch is too high for the population to sustain requires estimates of population abundance and by-catch. Shipboard sighting surveys are being used to estimate harbor porpoise abundance (Palka 1993, In review). To estimate total bycatch, data from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) Weighout Data Program (WO) and the NEFSC Domestic Sea Sampling Program (SS) are available. The WO data can be used to estimate the total effort, and the SS can be used to estimate a kill rate of harbor porpoise In the sink gillnet fishery. The objective of this paper is to present estimates of the annual by-catch of harbor porpoise by U.S. GOM sink gillnet fishery for the years 1991, 1990, and part of 1989, based on these two data sources. These estimates supersede those given In Smlth et aL (1991)"--Introduction.

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