2019 Assessment of the Skate Stock Complex in the Gulf of Alaska
There are currently no target fisheries for skates in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), and directed fishing for skates is prohibited.
There are currently no target fisheries for skates in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), and directed fishing for skates is prohibited. Incidental catches in other fisheries are sufficiently high that skates are considered to be “in the fishery” and harvest specifications are required. The GOA skate complex is managed as three units. Big skate (Beringraja binoculata) and longnose skate (Raja rhina) have separate harvest specifications, with Gulf-wide overfishing levels (OFLs) and Acceptable Biological Catches (ABCs) specified for each GOA regulatory area (western [WGOA], central [CGOA], and eastern [EGOA]). All remaining skate species are managed as an “other skates” group, with Gulf-wide harvest specifications. All GOA skates are managed under Tier 5, where OFL and ABC are based on survey biomass estimates and natural mortality rate. Effective January 27, 2016 the Alaska Regional Office indefinitely reduced the maximum retainable amount for all skates in the GOA from 20 percent to 5 percent.