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A report of the 29th Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop : assessment of American plaice in the Gulf of Maine-Georges Bank region for 1998
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  • Alternative Title:
    Assessment of American plaice in the Gulf of Maine-Georges Bank region for 1998
  • Description:
    This report presents an updated and revised analytical assessment of the Gulf of Maine-Georges Bank American plaice stock for the period 1980-1997 based on analysis of commercial discards, landings and effort data, and research vessel survey data through 1997. Total commercial landings for American plaice were estimated to be 4,000 mt in 1997 a 10% decline from 1996. Commercial landings per unit of effort generally declined from 1964 to 1972, gradually increased to a record high in 1977 and declined to a record low in 1988. Catch rates increased again until 1992, then declined, and have been relatively stable in recent years. Fisheryindependent surveys show similar trends in both biomass and numbers of American plaice over the time period. Age 1 recruitment for the 1993 year class was above average, but the more recent year classes are relatively poor. Spawning stock biomass declined from about 49,000 mt in 1980 to 7,800 mt in 1989, subsequently increased and remained relatively stable, and was about 13,000 mt in 1997. Fishing mortality increased from 1980 to 1983, declined until 1990, then increased to a record high of 0.79 (50% exploitation) in 1995, and declined to 0.47 (34% exploitation) in 1997. At the current level of exploitation landings are projected to decline to about 3,000 mt in 1999 and spawning stock biomass is expected to decline to about 6,500 mt in 2000.
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