Vessel Charter Opportunity For Derelict Crab Gear

NOAA sent out the following solicitation for a vessel charter.  For more information check the website below and brief synopsis provided.

Location and removal of derelict crab pots selected from prior side scan sonar surveys in the Duncan Canal and Stikine River flats area.
This vessel charter is part of study to assess whether derelict crab pots in the Duncan canal and Stikine river flats area are still actively ghost-fishing.
The extent of the impact of derelict pots on Dungeness crab populations in southeastern Alaska is unknown.  However, studies in other areas point to a potentially significant effect of ghost fishing on the Dungeness crab populations.  For example, in the Fraser River District, British Columbia, it has been estimated that ghost fishing pots account for 7.2% of the commercial Dungeness crab catch.  In Puget Sound, 37% of derelict pots were still actively fishing even if the rot cord was degraded and continued fishing for at least one year.  Furthermore, the estimated annual catch rate per actively fishing derelict crab pot in Puget Sound was 74.4 crabs with a total annual loss of Dungeness crabs of 372,000 individuals.  This represents inadvertent destruction of 30–40% of the average annual catch.  Unlike commercial and non-commercial harvests, which target legal males only, ghost fishing traps do not discriminate among the sex and size of captured crabs, possibly resulting in a greater loss than that due to active fishing.
Act as a support vessel for diving operations and retrieval of derelict fishing gear.
The charter will be between nine (9) and thirteen (13) days at the end of September (see schedule below).  The number of days will be determined based on the vessel daily rate. The work will occur in Duncan Canal (between 56˚50’ to the north, 56˚33’ to the south, 133˚04’ to the east, and 133˚20’ to the west) and Stikine River flats (between 56˚34’ to the north, 56˚28’ to the south, 132˚17’ to the east, and 132˚40’ to the west.    The required vessel will need to act as a comfortable, stable platform for the divers who will examine and video record in situ derelict pots and attach a retrieval line that will enable the vessel to bring up the located derelict gear.  The vessel has to allow for ease of water egress and ingress for the divers either directly from the boat or via a skiff supplied by the vessel or NOAA (17’ whaler).  The vessel must have a winch capable of retrieving a variety of derelict Dungeness crab pots identified and attached to a line by divers.  Furthermore, sufficient deck space must be available to store the retrieved pots.  The collected pots can be offloaded at either the ABL dock in Auke bay or downtown at the NOAA subport facility (to be determined).

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