2013 Assessment of the Flathead Sole Stock Complex in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands
"Flathead sole" as currently managed by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) represents a two-species complex consisting of true flathead sole (Hippoglossoides elassodon) and its morphologically-similar congener Bering flounder (H. robustus). In November 2012, the BSAI Goundfish Plan Team moved flathead sole to a biennial stock assessment schedule because it has been lightly exploited for a substantial period of time (BSAI Plan Team, 2012). In “on” (even) years, a full assessment is to be conducted for the stock. In “off” (odd) years (y), the single species projection model is to be used to update OFL and ABC recommendations for the following year (y+1) and to produce OFL and ABC recommendations for two years’ ahead (y+2). These results will be reported in an “Executive Summary”-type format. Results from the off-year EBS Groundfish Survey will also be briefly summarized.
Because 2013 is an “off” year in the assessment cycle for flathead sole, the single species projection model was run using parameter values from the accepted 2012 assessment model (Stockhausen et al., 2012), together with updated catch information for 2012-2013, to determine stock status for 2013 and OFLs and maximum permissible ABCs for 2014 and 2015.