The North Pacific Fishery Management Council, at its annual December meeting in Anchorage, also lowered the Bering Sea cod TAC from 240 million metric tons to 238.7 million metric tons, while raising the Aleutian Islands P-cod TAC from 9.42 million metric tons to 12.839 million metric tons.
Sablefish TAC for the Bering Sea dropped from 1.333 metric tons to 1.151 metric tons, and from 1.802 metric tons to 1.557 metric tons in the Aleutian Islands.
Arrowtooth flounder TAC for the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands dropped from 22,000 metric tons to 14,000 metric tons, and rock sole from 69,250 metric tons to 57,100 metric tons. Atka mackerel TAC rose just slightly in the BSAI, from 54,500 metric tons to 55,000 metric tons.
Yellowfin sole TAC dropped from 149,000 metric tons to 144,000 metric tons.
The council sets a statutory cap of 2 million metric tons of groundfish harvested from the Bering Sea for 22 species.
The council also passed a motion recommending that the annual BSAI groundfish specifications continue to take into consideration groundfish species halibut bycatch rates, the potential effects of groundfish harvest on directed halibut fisheries and the health of the halibut resource, recognizing a shared responsibility with the International Pacific Halibut commission to maintain the viability of halibut commercial, sport and personal use fisheries, and communities dependent on them.
Complete TACs for all species in the BSAI and Gulf of Alaska are posted on the council’s website, www.npfmc.org.