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2014 Assessment of the Sculpin Complex in the Gulf of Alaska

April 09, 2014

Data gaps exist in sculpin species life history characteristics, spatial distribution and abundance in Alaskan waters. Most importantly no data on maximum age exists for the four main sculpin species in the GOA. Therefore, collections for age data on yellow Irish lord, great sculpin, bigmouth sculpin and plain sculpin are needed from the GOA. Over 90% of all sculpins caught in the fisheries of the GOA in surveys from 2004-2012 were from the genera Myoxocephalus, Hemitripterus, and Hemilepidotus. Collecting seasonal food habits data (with additional summer collections) would help to clarify the role of both large
and small sculpin species within the GOA ecosystem. In addition, there is a need for GOA specific
research on natural mortality of sculpin species. These data are necessary to improve management
strategies for non-target species.