On-Demand Fishing Gear Conflict Working Group

On-demand fishing gear, which utilizes acoustic or timed-release technologies such as pop-up buoys, float bags, and buoyant rope spools in place of traditional vertical lines to retrieve gear set on the seafloor, is expected to play an increasingly large role in reducing large whale rope entanglements. Due to the lack of surface markers and possible technological limitations, the widespread adoption of on-demand gear may result in interactions between on-demand gear and mobile, fixed, and recreational fishing gear.

In January 2023, the Council established the On-Demand Fishing Gear Conflict Working Group (ODWG) to address these interactions and prevent or reduce potential gear conflicts. The goal of the ODWG is to identify strategies for reducing gear interactions between on-demand gear and other fisheries, including mobile, fixed-gear, and recreational fleets. The working group also will consider interactions resulting from measures adopted for sink gillnet and other trap/pot fisheries. This working group will focus specifically on interactions between on-demand and other types of fishing gear pertaining to Council-managed fisheries and will not comment on the suitability of on-demand gear for fixed gear fisheries.

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