Pollock as halibut bait could increase catch rates and reduce bycatch
Bait is always a big expenditure for many fishing businesses and pollock could help cut costs for Alaska halibut longliners who fish in the Gulf.
Researchers have tested pollock in two projects to see if it might replace pricier chum salmon as halibut bait. Fish biologists use over 300,000 pounds of chums in their stock surveys each year, costing nearly half a million dollars. The baits are used at more than 1,200 testing stations from Oregon to the Bering Sea.
A pilot study three years ago in the central Gulf and off of British Columbia showed some promising signs for pollock.