NMFS reminds the fleet to minimize its catch of blackspotted/rougheye rockfish species group in the Aleutian Islands subarea of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area.
At the December 2022 meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, the Council’s Science and Statistical Committee (SSC) addressed concerns about fishing pressure relative to blackspotted/rougheye rockfish biomass estimates in the Western Aleutian Islands. The SSC recommended estimation of a maximum subarea species catch (MSSC) amount to provide a maximum catch target and monitor catch of blackspotted/rougheye rockfish in the Western Aleutian Islands. For 2023, the MSSC amount to guide the level of catch is 61 metric tons for the Western Aleutian Islands district. Information on the calculation of this MSSC amount may be found in the most recent blackspotted /rougheye rockfish stock assessment at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/alaska/population-assessments/north-pacific-groundfish-stock-assessment-and-fishery-evaluation.
In 2023, if the catch for this rockfish species group continues to be a concern the SSC and Council may recommend further management action. NMFS provides a catch report with the 2023 BSAI blackspotted/rougheye catch by subarea and corresponding blackspotted/rougheye rockfish MSSC amounts for the public’s information at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/akro/car112_rougheye_rockfish_catch2023.html.
The goal of this information bulletin is to improve public understanding on issues associated with fishing effort to mitigate the need for further management actions.