2016 Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation Report for the Groundfish Resources of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Regions
The Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE)report summarizes the best available scientific information concerning the past, present, and possible future condition of the stocks, marine ecosystems, and fisheries that are managed under Federal regulation. It provides information to the Councils for determining annual harvest levels from each stock, documenting significant trends or changes in the resource, marine ecosystems, and fishery over time, and assessing the relative success of existing state and Federal fishery management programs. For the FMP for the Groundfish Fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Area, the SAFE report is published in three sections: a “Stock Assessment” section, which comprises the bulk of this document, and “Economic Status of Groundfish Fisheries off Alaska” (i.e., the “Economic SAFE report”) and “Ecosystem Considerations” sections, which are bound separately.
The BSAI Groundfish FMP requires that a draft of the SAFE reportbe produced each year in time for the December meeting of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Each stock or stock complex is represented in the SAFE reportby a chapter containing thelatest stock assessment. New or revised stock assessment models are usually previewed at the September Plan Team meeting, and considered again by the Team at its November meeting for recommending final specifications for the following two fishing years. This process is repeated annually.
Normally, full stock assessments are required for walleye pollock, Pacific cod, Atka mackerel, sablefish, and some flatfish stocks every year; while all rockfishes, some flatfishes, sharks, skates, octopus, squid, and sculpins require full stock assessment only during years in which the Aleutian Island bottom trawl survey is conducted (typically even-numbered years).