Final Environmental Assessment for Amendment 31 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska to Establish Atka Mackerel as a Separate Target Species
Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska Management Plan: Final Environmental Assessment
Atka mackerel (Pleurogrammus monopterygius) has recently become the subject of a directed fishery in the Gulf of Alaska. This species is part of the "other species" category, which also contains bycatch species of minor commercial importance including sculpins, skates, squid, smelts, sharks, eulachon, capelin, and octopus. The "other species" category has been available as a Gulf-wide total allowable catch equal to 5 percent of the sum of TACs for all target fisheries.
High landings of Atka mackerel in 1992 accounted for almost the entire TAC of "other species" in the GOA, resulting in "other species" becoming non-retainable by May 1992 (57 FR 21215, May 19, 1992) in the entire GOA. Although "other species" were apportioned by management area in 1993, a target fishery for Atka mackerel resulted in a closure to directed fishing for "other species" in the Western Regulatory Area early in April 1993 (58 FR 17806, April 6, 1993)