2015 Assessment of the Squid Stock Complex in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands
Before this assessment, harvest recommendations for BSAI squids have been made based on the average catch from 1978-1995. In 2014 and particularly 2015, squid catches increased substantially and the current specifications acted as a constraint on the directed pollock fishery, where most squid are captured. In both years a voluntary spatial closure in the Bering Canyon area where squid bycatch was particularly high was adopted by the pollock fleet. This limited fishing access to the fleet and may have interfered with the fleet’s ability to avoid chinook and chum salmon. As a result the Plan Teams and the SSC requested that the assessment author revisit the analytic approach and develop a set of harvest recommendations that better reflect a sustainable level of squid removals.
The recommended overfishing level (OFL) for squid in the years 2016-2017 is calculated as the average catch from 1977-1981, or 6,912 t. The recommended allowable biological catch (ABC) for squids in 2016 and 2017 is calculated as 0.75 multiplied by the average catch from 1977-1981, or 5,184 t.