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Resource Ecology & Fisheries Management (REFM) Division

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Jan-Mar 2006
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Age & Growth Program

Estimated production figures for 1 January through 31 March 2006.
Number Aged
Pacific cod        2,668
Sablefish        1,196
Atka mackerel           315
Rougheye rockfish        1,374
Great Sculpin           400
Total production figures were 5,953 with 1,505 test ages and 81 examined and determined to be unageable.  This release of great sculpin ages are the first ages of this species from the Age and Growth Program.



Because of the significance of walleye pollock in Alaska groundfish fisheries, the Age and Growth Program has made a significant effort to corroborate/validate the ageing criteria we are using for this species. This research has lead to two studies which will soon be published in the scientific literature.

The first is by D.K. Kimura, C.R. Kastelle, B.J. Goetz, C.M. Gburski, and A.V. Buslov called "Corroborating ages of walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma)," which will be published in the journal Marine and Freshwater Research.

The second is by C.R. Kastelle, and D. K. Kimura called "Age validation of walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) from the Gulf of Alaska using the disequilibrium of Pb-210 and Ra-226" to be published in the ICES Journal of Marine Science.

Together these papers confirm that AFSC ageing methods being applied to walleye pollock is supported by a broad range of scientific evidence.

By Dan Kimura

US-Vietnam Bilateral Workshop and Eighth Pacific Rim Fisheries Conference

The REFM Division played a key role in organizing a U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral workshop and the eighth Pacific Rim Fisheries conference, which were held in Hanoi, Vietnam. The workshop theme focused on research and survey needs on marine fisheries resources off Vietnam. The objective of the workshop was to review such needs so that the documentation could be used for planning future cooperative activities under a 2001 Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the two countries.

The participants reported on the status of various research and survey activities on demersal fisheries resources, nearshore and offshore pelagic fisheries resources, tunas, corals, sea turtles, bycatch avoidance gear technology, marine protection areas, oceanography, and ecological studies. The technical presentations made at the workshop are available for public access through the AFSC web site at The Eighth Pacific Rim Fisheries Conference on "Challenges of Stewardship of Living Marine Resources in the Pacific Marine Ecosystem" was held after the workshop. The conference featured daily topic focuses.

Day 1 was for keynote address and Country reports. Kitty Simonds (Executive Director of the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council) and Bill Robinson (Regional Director of the Pacific Islands NMFS Regional Office) presented a two-part keynote address "Who gets the Fish? Kitty reported from a domestic perspective for the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council and Bill reported from an International perspective for the newly formed Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention. National Marine Fisheries Service Assistant Administrator Bill Hogarth gave the U.S. report.

The focus topics for Day 2 were on special challenges of stewardship from many perspectives by a diverse group of international experts. Papers were presented on Asian regional fisheries experiences, ecosystem approaches to management, market based management, open access systems, stock rebuilding, overcapitalization and overfishing, essential fish habitat protection, aquaculture and trade issues, eco-labeling, and coordinated enforcement.

Day 3 topics focused on natural and man-made disasters - tsunamis, tropical storms, global warming, and coastal mitigation. The closing remarks were made by U.S. Department of State representative, Stetson Tinkham.

The presentations at the conference are available for public access through the AFSC web site at

By Loh-Lee Low

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