Public Notice: Request for Industry Cooperation To Avoid Shortbelly Rockfish in the Trawl Fishery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NMFS-SEA-19-14   June 7, 2019                             

For More Information Contact:  Groundfish Branch, Keeley Kent (206) 526-4655                                                                             

The National Marine Fisheries Service estimates that bycatch of shortbelly rockfish in the Pacific Coast groundfish fishery is accumulating at a higher than anticipated rate for 2019. As of June 7, 2019, the estimated catch of shortbelly in the trawl fisheries (primarily at-sea and shoreside whiting) was approximately 337 metric tons (mt), more than half of the 2019 annual catch limit (ACL), which is set at 500 mt. The ACL is reduced by small off-the-top deductions, however, there is not any further allocation structure for this stock. All catch from all gear types and sectors accumulates to the harvest guideline.

We are requesting that industry voluntarily avoid bycatch of shortbelly rockfish in all trawl sectors for the remainder of 2019 to prevent exceeding the ACL for this species.

2019 Shortbelly harvest specifications

Harvest Guideline 483 mt
Annual Catch Limit 500 mt
Acceptable Biological Catch 5,789 mt
Overfishing limit 6,950 mt

For more information contact: NMFS West Coast Region at 206-526-6140 or visit our website at http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov, click on “Fisheries” then “Groundfish”