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AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands Pollock Trawl

Current Classification on 2017 LOF

Category II
Estimated Number of Participants 102
Target Species pollock
Applicable Take Reduction Plans N/A
Observer Coverage Observer coverage is calculated by the percentage of observed biomass (percentage of tons caught which were observed).  Observer coverage in groundfish fisheries is assigned according to vessel length: vessels greater than 125 ft (30.5 m) have 10% coverage; vessels 60-125 ft (18.3-30.5 m) have 30% coverage; and vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) are not observed.  Observer coverage in groundfish fisheries varies by statistical area and the pooled percent coverage for all areas is provided in the SARs and is reported here.  Pooled observer coverage for all areas from 1998-2005 were 66.9%, 75.2%, 76.2%, 79.0%, 80.0%, 82.2%, 92.8%, and 77.3%, respectively.
Marine Mammal Species/Stocks Killed or Injured Bearded seal, AK;
Dall's porpoise, AK;
Harbor seal, Bering Sea;
Humpback whale, Central North Pacific;
Humpback whale, Western North Pacific;
Northern fur seal, Eastern Pacific;
Ringed seal, AK;
Ribbon seal, AK;
Spotted seal, AK;
Steller sea lion, Western U.S.1

^ Number of participants estimates are based on state and federal fisheries permit data.  The estimated number of participants is expressed in terms of the number of active participants in the fishery, when possible.  If this information is not available, the estimated number of vessels or persons licensed for a particular fishery is provided.  If no recent information is available on the number of participants, then the number from the most recent LOF is used.  NMFS acknowledges that, in some cases, these estimations may be inflating actual effort.  

*Observer coverage levels include the latest information reported in the most current final Stock Assessment Report (SAR)

1 Indicates the stock or species is driving the classification of the fishery 

Note: Current classification based on final LOF, no proposed changes are reflected in this table.

Basis for Current Classification

The total annual mortality and serious injury of killer whales (Eastern North Pacific, GOA, Aleutian Islands, and Bering Sea transient stock) and Steller sea lions (Western U.S. stock) in the AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands (BSAI) pollock trawl fishery  is greater than 1% and less than 50% of each of the stocks’ Potential Biological Removal (PBR) level.

Distribution

Fishing effort in this fishery takes place in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone of the Eastern Bering Sea and the portion of the North Pacific Ocean adjacent to the Aleutian Islands, which is west of 170°W. long. up to the U.S.-Russian Convention Line of 1867. 

Gear Description

This fishery uses trawl gear.  The use of non-pelagic trawl gear in the directed fishery for pollock is prohibited. 

Management

Management measures for the BSAI groundfish fisheries constrain fishing both temporally and spatially.  This fishery is federally managed under the BSAI FMP.  The authorized gear, fishing season, criteria for determining fishing seasons, and area restrictions by gear type are defined in the regulations implementing the BSAI FMP (50 CFR 679).  

 

Historical Information

Original Category (Year added to the LOF) II (1996)
Original Number of Participants 490
Basis for Original Classification This fishery was proposed for Category II listing because incidental take of killer whales (transient and resident stocks unknown) was 8% of the stock’s PBR.  However, population estimates of both stocks were known to be biased low (because estimates were based on direct counts) and NMFS had good estimates of incidental take in this fishery as a result of 60% observer coverage.  Therefore, the levels of take were not thought to have a significant effect on the population and the fishery was listed as Category III.
Past Names AK BSAI groundfish trawl (until 2004)
Species/stocks historically documented as killed or injured (but not currently on the list) N/A

 

Timeline of Changes

2015
  • Estimated number of participants updated from 95 to 102.
2013
  • Added the following stocks to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in this fishery: ringed seal (AK) (M/SI documented in 2008 and 2009); bearded seal (AK) (M/SI documented in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010); Northern fur seal (Eastern Pacific) (M/SI documented in 2007, 2008, and 2010). Removed two stocks from the list of species/stocks killed/injured in this fishery: killer whale (Eastern North Pacific, Gulf of AK, AI, and BS transient) (no M/I since 2003) and minke whale (AK) (no M/I since 2000).
2010
  • Removed the superscript "1" after humpback whale (Central North Pacific) and humpback whale (Western North Pacific).  While there are known historical interactions with these stocks, these interactions are not the basis for classifying the fishery as a Category II fishery (i.e., the level of serious injury and mortality of these stocks in the ‘‘BSAI Pollock trawl’’ fishery is below 1 percent of the stocks’ PBR levels).  The continued inclusion of the superscript following these stocks in this fishery on Table 1 was a typographical error.
2009
  • Estimated number of participants updated from 120 to 95.
2006
  • Added the following species/stocks to list of species/stocks incidentally killed/injured in this fishery to update the stocks associated with the fisheries delineated fisheries in 2004:  Harbor seal (Bering Sea), Dall's porpoise (AK), Spotted seal (AK), Ribbon seal (AK), and Minke whale (AK)
  • Changed the name of the killer whale transient stock from “Eastern North Pacific transient” to "Eastern North Pacific, GOA, Aleutian Islands, and Bering Sea transient" to reflect the stock name in the 2005 SAR.
  • Deleted killer whale (Eastern North Pacific resident) from list of species/stocks incidentally killed/injured in this fishery.  Since the 2005 LOF, NMFS performed genetic testing on biopsy samples of killer whales incidentally killed/injured in this fishery and determined that the fishery only interacts with the transient stock of killer whales.
  • Added a superscript “1” in Table 1 after humpback whale (Central North Pacific), humpback whale (Western North Pacific), killer whale (Eastern North Pacific, GOA, Aleutian Islands, and Bering Sea transient) and Steller sea lion (Western U.S.), indicating that takes of these stocks are driving the classification of the fishery.
2005
  • Elevated to Category II based on interactions with Steller sea lions (Western U.S. stock), killer whales (Eastern North Pacific resident and transient stocks), and humpback whales (Central and Western North Pacific stocks).  Estimated serious injury and mortality of Steller sea lions (Western U.S. stock) was 2.5 animals/year, or 1.2% of PBR (PBR=209); estimated serious injury and mortality of killer whales (Eastern North Pacific resident stock) was 0.6 animals/year, or 8.33% of PBR (PBR=7.2); estimated serious injury and mortality of killer whales (Eastern North Pacific transient stock) was 0.6 animals/year, or 21.43% of PBR (PBR=2.8); estimated serious injury and mortality of humpback whales (Central North Pacific stock) was 0.3 animals/year, or 4.05% of PBR (PBR=7.4); estimated serious injury and mortality of humpback whales (Western North Pacific stock) was 0.3 animals/year, or 42.86% of PBR (PBR=0.7).
2004
  • The “AK BSAI Pollock trawl” fishery was split from the Category III "AK Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Groundfish trawl" fishery.  NMFS recognized that the large fishery groups in AK included in the LOF up through 2004 were not homogenous, instead these represented a diverse group of fisheries with different interactions with marine mammals.  The larger fishery was delineated into more discrete fisheries according to area, gear and target species to reflect fisheries as managed under the BSAI Fishery Management Plan (FMP).  The newly delineated fishery was listed as a Category III until the completion of analyses of serious injury and mortality in the new fishery, with an estimated 120 participants.
  • The list of marine mammal species/stocks incidentally killed/injured in the larger fishery was also delineated to correspond to the more discrete fisheries listed for the first time in 2004.  The list of species/stocks incidentally killed/injured in the “AK BSAI Pollock trawl” fishery included:  Steller sea lion (Western U.S.), Killer whale (Eastern North Pacific resident), killer whale (Eastern North Pacific transient), humpback whale (Central North Pacific), and humpback whale (Western North Pacific).
Changes on the LOF when the “AK BSAI pollock trawl” fishery was included in the larger “AK BSAI groundfish trawl” fishery
2003
  • NMFS proposed to elevate this fishery to Category II, but did not elevate the fishery at that time based on public comments and the fact that this fishery is made up of a diverse group of trawl fisheries targeting different groundfish.  NMFS stated its intent to propose fishery delineations within this fishery to accurately reflect the fishing regimes, and evaluate incidental take, in the 2004 LOF.
  • Added fin whale (Northeast Pacific) to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in this fishery because this stock is known to interact with the fishery and was inadvertently omitted from lists of species in the past.  NMFS proposed to deleted harbor seals (Gulf of Alaska) from the list, but decided not to do so after verifying that the species range overlapped with the fishery range.
  • Estimated number of participants updated from 166 to 157.
2001
  • Added humpback whale (Central North Pacific) and humpback whale (Western North Pacific) to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in this fishery based on the mortality of a single whale in 1998.  The stock identification for the whale was uncertain; therefore, the mortality was attributed to both the Central and Western North Pacific stocks.   
  • Estimated number of participants updated from 193 to 166.
1999
  • Estimated number of participants updated from 186 to 193.
1998
  • Estimated number of participants updated from 490 to 186.


 

Updated January 14, 2017