2013 Assessment of Other Rockfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands
The Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Other rockfish complex includes all species of Sebastes and Sebastolobus, except for Pacific ocean perch (POP, Sebastes alutus), northern rockfish (Sebastes polyspinis), dark rockfish (Sebastes ciliatus), rougheye rockfish (Sebastes aleutianus), blackspotted rockfish (Sebastes melanostictus) and shortraker rockfish (Sebastes borealis). In 2013, species caught in the BSAI in the “other species” complex included black rockfish (Sebastes melanops), redbanded rockfish (Sebastes babcocki), darkblotched rockfish (Sebastes crameri), yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus), harlequin rockfish (Sebastes variegatus), redstripe rockfish (Sebastes proriger), dusky rockfish (Sebastes variabilis; formerly light dusky), thornyhead (Sebastolobus alascanus), and longspine thornyhead (Sebastolobus altivelis). Many of the species in the genus Sebastes are relatively uncommon; and different species may be represented in different years. Between 2004-2013, this category has consisted primarily of dusky rockfish and shortspine thornyhead.
Because the Other Rockfish complex is defined by what it excludes rather than by what it includes, an analysis was conducted in the 2001 Other Rockfish SAFE report to distinguish species expected to occur in the BSAI from rarely observed and potentially misidentified species. The criteria used for the analysis was occurrence in at least one haul of the BSAI surveys and/or occurrence in at least 1% of observed fishery hauls. Using data from 1999-2001, 7 species (shortspine thornyhead; Sebastolobus alascanus, dusky rockfish; Sebastes variabilis, redbanded rockfish; Sebastes babcocki, redstriped rockfish; Sebastes proriger, yelloweye rockfish; Sebastes ruberrimus, harlequin rockfish; Sebastes variegatus, and sharpchin rockfish; Sebastes zacentrus) were identified as meeting these criteria (Table 1). Dark rockfish also met the criteria, but have since been removed from the Other Rockfish complex and is now managed by the State of Alaska.