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Resource Ecology & Fisheries Management

Status of Stocks and Multispecies Assessment Program: 2001 Stock Assessment Summary

The Status of Stocks and Multispecies Assessment Program (SSMA) completed stock assessments for major groundfish stocks in the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands region, and Gulf of Alaska.  Information from a variety of sources was used, including survey biomass estimates provided by the Resource Assessment and Conservation Engineering (RACE) Division, fishery catch estimates from the NMFS Alaska Regional Office, fishery-dependent biological samples from the REFM Observer Program, and fishery and survey age composition data from the REFM Age and Growth Program.  Final Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) reports were prepared for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC).  The NPFMC used the assessments to recommend levels of Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) for the 2002 fishing seasons.

Scientists from the SSMA Program participated in preparation of many of the assessment chapters for the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BSAI) regions.  Scientists from the Auke Bay Laboratory, the RACE Division, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) also authored or contributed to the development of the SAFE chapters.

In 2001, 14 stocks or stock complexes in the BSAI were assessed:  walleye pollock, Pacific cod, yellowfin sole, Greenland turbot, rock sole, flathead sole, arrowtooth flounder, other flatfish (includes 16 species of flatfish), BSAI Pacific ocean perch, other red rockfish, other rockfish, sablefish, Atka mackerel, and “other species” (see Table 1 below for species included in stock complexes).  With the exception of sablefish,  SSMA stock assessment authors were lead authors for all BSAI assessments.  In the Gulf of Alaska, ten stocks or stock complexes were assessed:  walleye pollock, Pacific cod, arrowtooth flounder, other flatfish, Pelagic shelf rockfish, slope rockfish, demersal shelf rockfish, thornyhead, sablefish, and Atka mackerel.  SSMA assessment authors were the primary authors on six out of the ten GOA assessment chapters.  Major findings for selected assessments are summarized below, grouped by management area and species.

Table 1.  Species categories established for management of the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands groundfish fishery.   A nonspecified species category is also established to cover all species not listed below.
Prohibited Species a Target Species b Other Species c Forage Fish
Salmon Walleye pollock Sculpins Eulachon
Pacific halibut Pacific cod Sharks Capelin
Pacific herring Yellowfin sole Skates Sandlance
Steelhead trout Greenland turbot Smelt Myctophids
  Arrowtooth flounder   Bathylagids
  Rock sole   Sandfish
  Flathead sole   Pholids
  Other flatfish   Stichaeids
  Sablefish   Gonostomatids
  Pacific ocean perch    
  Other red rockfish    
  Other rockfish    
  Atka mackerel    
King crab Squid Octopus Tanner crab
a Species which must be returned to the sea when caught.
b Species for which an individual TAC is established.
c Species for which an aggregate TAC is established.


Bering Sea Walleye Pollock
BSAI Pacific Cod
BSAI Yellowfin Sole
BSAI Greenland Turbot
BSAI Arrowtooth Flounder
BSAI Rock Sole

BSAI Flathead Sole
BSAI Other Flatfish Complex
BSAI Pacific Ocean Perch
BSAI Other Red Rockfish
Other Rockfish
AI Atka Mackerel

GOA Pollock
GOA Pacific Cod
GOA Flatfish
GOA Arrowtooth Flounder
GOA Atka Mackerel
GOA Thornyheads

BSAI Squid and Other Species Complex

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