NMFS Needs Industry Assistance Distinguishing Shortraker And Rougheye Rockfish

March 18, 2003 - 4:00 p.m.

Notice of a fishery management action.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) requests industry assistance in distinctly identifying shortraker and rougheye rockfish according to James W. Balsiger, Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS.

The NMFS is requesting that crews on fishing vessels retain rockfish when asked to by observers. On hook-and-line vessels this will occur while the observers are conducting samples to determine species composition. Observers are not able to accurately identify shortraker and rougheye to species for fish that are not brought on board the vessel.

While observers can use group and complex codes to account for shortraker and rougheye mortality, a crucial first step in improving accurate inseason management and stock assessment of these rockfish species is to accurately identify them. Observers have been directed by NMFS to coordinate with fishers on when to retain rockfish for species identification.

Vessel operators are reminded that regulations under 50 CFR 679.50 (g)(1)(viii) require "An operator of a vessel ...must provide all... reasonable assistance to enable observers to carry out their duties."

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on February 11, 2019