Age Determination of Alaska Groundfish Species

The Alaska Fisheries Science Center Age and Growth Program recently published a practical guide to the age determination of key groundfish species from Alaskan waters. The main focus of this manual is to describe techniques specific to the age determination of commercially and ecologically important species studied by the Age and Growth Program. The manual also provides general background information on otolith morphology, dissection, and preparation, as well as descriptions of methods used to measure the precision and accuracy of our age estimates.

Atka Mackerel

Atka Mackerel being measured for size.

Supplementary Material to the Age Determination Manual of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center Age and Growth Program

Additional information not published in NOAA Professional Paper 13 has been provided here in a web-based format. Most of the chapters listed below describe the age determination methods of non-commercial species or species for which age estimates have not been validated. This supplementary information also includes a description of our database and lists of supplies and references that may be useful to other age determination laboratories.

Due to the evolving nature of age determination science, some of the information presented here may change as new methodologies are developed over time. Furthermore, the Age and Growth Program is currently investigating the age determination of previously unstudied species, and as such it can be expected that new species chapters will be written in the future. Chapters which have been updated or added will be noted accordingly.

This presents supplemental material to "Age determination manual of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center Age and Growth Program," Mary Elizabeth Matta and Daniel K. Kimura (editors), which was published as NOAA Professional Paper NMFS 13 in 2012. Please note that this supplementary material did not undergo the formal peer-review process of the NMFS Scientific Publications Office but has been reviewed and approved by the Alaska Fisheries Science Center.

If citing this material, please use footnotes and the following format:

  • 1Author name(s). 2012. Chapter title. Resource Ecology and Fisheries Management Division, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NMFS, NOAA, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle WA 98115.

Additional Resources



Alaska Age and Growth Data Map

Additional Resources Age and Growth Research in Alaska Alaska Age and Growth Procedures for Otolith Examination Age and Growth Fish Otolith


Age Determination Manual of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center Age and Growth Program

The Age and Growth Program at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center is tasked with providing age data in order to improve the basic understanding of