MESA: Longline Survey
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.
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.
Survey Data Resources:
Most recent Survey Calendar
Longline Survey Data
Data summarized by management area
Data summarized by station
Cruise Report archives
Longline survey protocol for details on the survey methodology
Longline survey cruise reports for details on each cruise.
Annual Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation reports for more information on population size.
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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