MESA: Longline Survey
AFSC routinely conducts fisheries resources surveys in Alaska to sample fish populations and to collect biological data. Follow this link for the dates and locations of the 2014 AFSC Longline Survey. For information regarding the most recent longline survey, please see the cruise report.
The primary survey MESA staff participate in is the AFSC sablefish longline survey, which annually surveys sablefish and major groundfish species in the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, and Gulf of Alaska. The survey lasts three months and each day nearly nine miles of hook and line gear is fished on the ocean floor at depths from 200-1000 meters. The survey is conducted using a chartered fishing vessel capable of catching and processing the catch at sea which allows the vessel to stay at sea for multiple weeks between port calls. A unique aspect of this survey is that the charter vessel retains most of the catch after the scientific data are recorded, which funds the survey operations. More info about the survey can be learned by watching the video below.
AFSC Longline Survey: Watch the Video!
The relative abundance indices produced from this survey are combined with age, length, and fishery data to estimate absolute abundance of several major groundfish species. Together this information is used to estimate population size and determine catch quotas of commercially important fish species. For detailed summaries of the longline time series (1979-present), data has been compiled in a web accessible database.
Auke Bay Laboratories
Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries
Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute
17109 Pt Lena Loop Rd
Juneau AK 99801
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