2015 Assessment of the Other Rockfish Stock Complex in the Gulf of Alaska
The Other Rockfish stock complex (termed OR in this document) is a mixed group of up to 25 rockfish species depending on Gulf of Alaska (GOA) management area (Table 16.1, Figure 16.1). This assessment presents catch and survey information for these species and provides recommended management reference points. This complex is further complicated by eight species that occur in other assessments in certain regions.
The Demersal Shelf Rockfish (DSR) complex includes seven species (canary, China, copper, quillback, rosethorn, tiger and yelloweye rockfish) in the East Yakutat/Southeast Outside region (east of the 140̊ W longitude, NMFS Area 650). These seven species are managed as part of the OR complex west of the 140̊ W longitude (i.e., NMFS Areas 610 – 640, the Western and Central GOA and the West Yakutat portion of the Eastern GOA). While these species have not previously been included in the full OR assessments (Other Slope Rockfish in prior assessments), catch estimates have been included in the group total catch provided by the Alaska Region Office (AKRO). An analysis of the catch and biomass time series from these species in the OR complex was presented in the 2013 assessment (Tribuzio et. al, 2013), but due to the government shut down in 2013, a full assessment has not been conducted since 2011.
Northern rockfish are included in the OR complex only in the Eastern GOA and are a separate assessment in other management areas of the GOA. This is because of the extremely low abundance of northern rockfish in the Eastern GOA and the consequent difficulty of managing northern rockfish as a separate species in this area. In 1999 northern rockfish in the Eastern GOA was reassigned to the Other Slope Rockfish category for this area only. Therefore, northern rockfish is listed as an OR species in Table 16.1, but only for the Eastern GOA. Northern rockfish biomass is not included in the estimation of OFL/ABCs because it is already accounted for in the northern rockfish assessment. Instead, a portion of the ABC is taken from the northern rockfish assessment and added to the OR assessment during the Plan Team deliberations.
There are six species that generally comprise > 95 % of the OR catch and biomass: harlequin, redbanded redstripe, sharpchin, silvergray and yelloweye rockfish. This document focuses primarily on those species, with all other species being grouped into a category termed “minors”.