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Assessing Alaska Fish Stocks

NOAA Fisheries assessment scientists are responsible for determining the current status of commercial and recreationally caught fish species in the waters of Alaska from 3–200 nautical miles offshore or in federal waters.

Group of fish after being caught

Assessment scientists are responsible for determining the current status, whether a fish stock is healthy, overfished or overfishing is occurring, for 54 fish stocks in the federal waters of Alaska (i.e., the ocean waters extending 3 to 200 nautical miles around the U.S.). Other NOAA Fisheries scientists conduct regular research surveys and provide the data used to prepare these assessments.

The assessment involves updating information on population trends (i.e., whether populations are increasing or declining over time), estimating "biological yields," or the amounts that can be safely removed through fishing activity without comprising stock health, and providing recommendations for resource managers on sustainable catch limits. 

At the Alaska Fisheries Science Center two programs are responsible for developing fish stock assessments, the Status of the Stocks and Multispecies Assessment Program and the Marine Ecology and Stock Assessment Program.

Additional Resources




Alaska Groundfish Age-Length Map Tool

Scientists in the Alaska Fisheries Science Center's Age and Growth Program collect a variety of information about fish that aids in the effective…


Spatial Data Collected by Groundfish Observers in Alaska

The underlying information for these maps comes from a database of observer samples maintained by the Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis (FMA)…


Alaska Groundfish Survey Data Map

The Resource Assessment and Conservation Engineering Division of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center conducts bottom trawl surveys to monitor the…