2016 Assessment of the Northern Rockfish Stock in the Gulf of Alaska
Changes in the input data: There were no changes made to the assessment model inputs since this was an off-cycle year. New data added to the projection model included an updated 2015 catch (3,944 t) and new estimated catches for 2016-2018. The 2016 catch was estimated by increasing the official catch as of October 8, 2016 by 10%, which represents the average percentage of catch taken after October 8 in thelast three complete years (2013-2015). This resulted in an estimated catch for 2016 of 3,533 t. To estimate future catches, we updated the yield ratio to 0.85, which was the average of the ratio of catch to ABC for the last three complete catch years (2013-2015). This yield ratio was multiplied by the projected ABCs from the updated projection model to generate catches of 3,214 t in 2017 and 2,923 in 2018. The yield ratio was lower than last year’s ratio of 0.89 whereas the expansion factor was the same as last year’s expansion factor.
For the 2017 fishery, we recommend the maximum allowable ABC of 3,790 t from the updated projection model. This ABC is 5% less than last year’s ABC of 4,008 t but slightly larger than last year’s 2017 projected ABC of 3,772 t. Recommended area apportionments of ABC are 432 t for the Western area, 3,354 t for the Central area, and 4 t for the Eastern area. The 2017 Gulf-wide OFL for northern rockfish is 4,522 t.