2019 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.
Atka mackerel (Pleurogrammus monopterygius) are distributed along the continental shelf in areas across the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea from Asia to North America. On the Asian side they extend from the Kuril Islands to Provideniya Bay (Rutenberg 1962). Moving eastward, they are distributed throughout the Komandorskiye and Aleutian Islands, north to the Pribilof Islands in the eastern Bering Sea, and eastward through the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) to southeast 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. The previous full assessment was presented in 2017, which included data from the 2017 GOA bottom trawl survey. On alternate (even) years no assessment is due for GOA Atka mackerel because of its Tier 6 status. 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 Tier 5 calculations of ABC and OFL based on 2007 survey biomass estimates, for consideration. 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 2017 assessment presented Tier 6 recommendations and did not present Tier 5 calculations given the large variances associated with the 2017 survey biomass estimates, which were based on one significant haul encountered in the western Gulf of Alaska off the Sanak Islands. The 2017 full Assessment of the Atka Mackerel stock in the Gulf of Alaska (Lowe 2017) (PDF, 34 pages) is available. The Council set the Gulf-wide 2018 and 2019 OFL, ABC, and TAC for Atka mackerel at 6,200 t, 4,700 t, and 3,000 t, respectively.