KODIAK -- Federal fishery managers have voted to reduce halibut bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska by nearly 700,000 pounds beginning in 2014.
KMXT radio reports the North Pacific Fishery Management Council made the decision Friday on a 10-1 vote.
The 15 percent reduction will be made to the current, 4.5 million-pound bycatch cap that's been in place for more than 20 years.
Bycatch refers to halibut caught by groundfish fisheries. According to a news release from the Alaska Marine Conservation Council and Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association, the halibut caught are often dead and required by law to be cast back into the water. Those groups lauded the decision.