Shortraker Rockfish Ageing Studies

Shortraker rockfish studies and assessment

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Shortraker rockfish caught on a trawler.

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Shortraker catch on a longline vessel.

We conduct studies to learn more about the life span of shortraker rockfish in the Gulf of Alaska, which are caught incidentally in fisheries including those for sablefish. Due to its large size and bright red color, this species is one of the most valuable slope rockfish in landed price. Annual catches of shortraker rockfish in the Gulf of Alaska have ranged from 500 to 1,500 metric tons since the early 1990s.

Because of its longevity, general lack of biological information, and uncertain biomass estimates in bottom trawl surveys, shortraker rockfish has been managed conservatively in the Gulf of Alaska. Although trends in stock abundance are difficult to discern, catch levels of shortraker rockfish are believed to be well below the level of over-exploitation.

Shortraker rockfish have long been considered one of the most difficult rockfish species for age determination. New aging methods have been developed for shortraker rockfish that for the first time may allow reliable ages to be determined. If reliable ages become available, it may be possible to apply statistical catch-at-age models to shortraker rockfish populations in the Gulf of Alaska. Use of these models would improve our knowledge of abundance trends for shortraker rockfish and help in the determination of appropriate harvest levels.

Additional Resources

Contacts

Resources

data

2017 Alaska Fisheries Science Center Gulf of Alaska Shortraker Rockfish Stock Assessment

The SAFE report for the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) groundfish fisheries is compiled by the Plan Team for the Gulf of Alaska Groundfish FMP from chapters

data

2017 Alaska Fisheries Science Center Aleutian Islands Shortraker Rockfish Stock Assessment in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands

The BSAI Groundfish FMP requires that a draft of the SAFE report be produced each year in time for the December meeting of the North Pacific Fishery