Assessment of the walleye pollock stock in the Gulf of Alaska
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Assessment of the walleye pollock stock in the Gulf of Alaska

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  • Alternative Title:
    GOA Chapter 1
  • Description:
    The base model projection of female spawning biomass in 2018 is 342,683 t, which is 57.5% of unfished spawning biomass (based on average post-1977 recruitment) and above B40% (238,000 t), thereby placing GOA pollock in sub-tier “a” of Tier 3. The new survey data for 2017 included the Shelikof Strait acoustic survey, the NMFS bottom trawl, summer acoustic survey, and the ADFG bottom trawl survey. Survey data in 2017 are highly contrasting, with both acoustic surveys indicating large or increasing biomass, and both bottom trawl surveys indicating a steep decline. These divergent trends are likely due to changes in the availability of pollock to different surveying methods, although additional research is need to confirm this hypothesis. Other characteristics of the GOA pollock stock are showing unusual patterns, including changes in growth and maturation, very low recruitment, and unequal sex ratios. Although the GOA pollock stock is currently estimated to be at relatively high abundance due to an exceptionally strong 2012 year class, it is apparent that we have entered into a period of increased uncertainty regarding future abundance trends.
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