2013 Assessment of the Pacific Cod Stock in the Gulf of Alaska
Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) is a transoceanic species, occurring at depths from shoreline to 500 m. The southern limit of the species’ distribution is about 34° N latitude, with a northern limit of about 63° N latitude. Pacific cod is distributed widely over Gulf of Alaska (GOA), as well as the eastern Bering Sea (EBS) and the Aleutian Islands (AI) area. Tagging studies (e.g., Shimada and Kimura 1994) have demonstrated significant migration both within and between the EBS, AI, and GOA. Recent research indicates the existence of discrete stocks in the EBS and AI (Canino et al. 2005, Cunningham et al. 2009, Canino et al. 2010, Spies 2012). Pacific cod is not known to exhibit any special life history characteristics that would require it to be assessed or managed differently from other groundfish stocks in the GOA. The Pacific cod stock in the GOA is managed as one stock.