2016 Assessment of the Atka Mackerel Stock in the Gulf of Alaska
Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Atka mackerel are on a biennial stock assessment schedule to coincide with the availability of new survey data from the biennial trawl survey. A full assessment was presented in 2015which included data from the 2015 GOA bottom trawl survey. On alternate (even) years we present an executive summary with updated catch, last year’s key assessment parameters, any significant new information available in the interim, and projections for this year.
Gulf of Alaska Atka mackerel have been managed under Tier 6 specifications since 1996 due to the lack of reliable estimates of current biomass. In 2007, the assessment presented for consideration, Tier 5 calculations of ABC and OFL based on 2007 survey biomass estimates. However, the Plan Team and SSC agreed with the authors that reliable estimates of Atka mackerel biomass were not available and recommended continuing management under Tier 6. The 2015 assessment presented Tier 6 recommendations and did not present Tier 5 calculations given the large variances associated with the 2015 survey biomass estimates, which was essentially based on one significant haul encountered in the western Gulf of Alaska off the Sanak Islands. The Council set the Gulf-wide 2016 OFL, ABC, and TAC for Atka mackerel at 6,200 t, 4,700 t, and 2,000 t, respectively.