Final 2019-2020 specifications for five crab stocks are on the agenda at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s fall meeting under way in Homer, Alaska, through Oct. 9. Specifications will be determined for Eastern Bering Sea snow crab, Bristol Bay red king crab, Eastern Bering Sea tanner crab, Pribilof Island red king crab and St. Matthew blue king crab.
According to the council’s crab plan team members, Aleutian Islands golden king crab, Eastern Bering Sea snow crab and Pribilof Island red king crab are currently estimated to be above biomass maximum sustainable yield for 2019/2020. Eastern Bering Sea Tanner crab, Bristol Bay red king crab and Norton Sound red king crab are estimated to be below maximum sustainable yield.
Saint Matthew blue king crab was declared to be overfished in October of 2018. Pribilof Islands blue king crab stock remains overfished and is estimated to be well below is sustainable yield, but according to the crab plan team overfishing is not occurring for any crab stocks.
Also on the agenda, an initial review of the preliminary draft environmental impact statement for Bering Sea/Aleutian Island (BSAI) halibut abundance-based management prohibited species catch limits. A major change from current bycatch limits is under consideration. Restrictions would fluctuate up and down annually with changes in Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands halibut abundance. Prohibited species catch limit modifications are being considered for various groundfish sectors including the Amendment 80 and BSAI trawl limited access sector, longline catcher vessels, longline catcher processors and the Community Development Quota sector.
The meeting is open to the public and will be broadcast via https://npfmc.adobeconnect.com/october2019.
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