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Groundfish Assessment Program

The Groundfish Assessment Program is responsible for planning, executing, analyzing, and reporting results from surveys to establish time series estimates of the distribution and abundance of Alaska groundfish resources in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, and Aleutian Islands. The program also investigates biological processes and interactions with the environment to estimate growth, mortality, and recruitment to improve the precision and accuracy of forecasting stock dynamics. Impacts of bottom trawls on the seafloor and the description of bottom type are also being studied in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.

The Groundfish Assessment Program in cooperation with the RACE Shellfish Assessment Program annually conducts a bottom trawl assessment survey for groundfish and king and Tanner crabs in the eastern Bering sea. This survey was initiated in 1971 and has been conducted annually since 1979. Annual surveys of sablefish abundance in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands region and Gulf of Alaska have been conducted since 1979 in cooperation with the AFSCs Auke Bay Laboratory. Major triennial surveys have been conducted for groundfish resources in the Aleutian Islands region, and in portions of the eastern Bering Sea not included in the annual groundfish/crab survey since 1977. Standard trawls and longlines have been used throughout these time series surveys. Special purpose surveys and studies have been conducted to improve understanding of biological processes, interaction with the environment, and factors affecting the precision and accuracy of estimates of abundance and population forecasts.

Data derived from Groundfish surveys are documented in scientific reports and are incorporated into stock assessment advice to the Pacific Fishery Management Council, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, international fishery management organizations, the fishing industry, and the general public.

  • Smooth Sheet Bathymetry of Cook Inlet, Alaska Go there >>
  • Yes, Virginia, Walleye Pollock is Gadus chalcogrammus Go there >>
  • 2015 Groundfish ADP and Species Codebooks. Go there >>

  • Recent Poster Presentations, Publications, Reports & Activities

    • ORR, J. W., Y. KAI, and T. NAKABO. 2015. Snailfishes of the Careproctus rastrinus complex (Liparidae): Redescriptions of seven species in the North Pacific Ocean region, with the description of a new species from the Beaufort Sea. Zootaxa 4018(3):301348. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4018.3.1. 
    • PIETSCH, T. W., and J. W. ORR. 2015. Fishes of the Salish Sea: a compilation and distributional analysis. U.S. Dep. Commer., NOAA Professional Paper NMFS 18, 106 p. DOI: 10.7755/PP.18. (.pdf, 4.24 MB).  Online.
    • OKAMOTO, M., and D. E. STEVENSON. 2015. Records of two manefishes, Platyberyx andriashevi and P. rhyton (Teleostei: Perciformes: Caristiidae), from off the Ogasawara Islands, Japan. Species Divers. 20:13-17. DOI: 10.12782/sd.20.1.013. 
    • SOMERTON, D. 2015. The Untrawlable Habitat Strategic Initiative: First Experiment Conducted in Gulf of Mexico To Estimate Sampling Efficiency of Remotely Operated and Autonomous Vehicles. AFSC Quarterly Report Feature (January-February-March 2015) (.htm page).  Online.
    • Spawning Omission and the Productivity Deepwater Rockfish in the North Pacific Ocean
      Conference:  American Fisheries Society, 145th Annual Meeting, Portland, OR, Aug 2015
      (2015 poster, .pdf, 3.75 MB)   Online.

    • Distal Radials in the Pectoral Fin of Snailfishes (Liparidae): a New Character for Phylogenetic and Alpha-level Systematics
      Conference:  Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Reno, NV, July 2015
      (2015 poster, .pdf, 7.59 MB)   Online.


    See the poster and publications databases for additional listings.

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