The annual Groundfish Stock Assessment and Fisheries Evaluation (SAFE) Economic Status Report is produced by staff of the Economic and Social Sciences Research Program (ESSRP) at the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC). Refer to the most recent year’s Economic Status Report for staff contact information.

Data in the SAFE tables and SAFE .csv files are aggregated to satisfy requirements for public disclosure of fisheries data–in general, three entities reporting for federal fisheries data and four entities reporting for State of Alaska data. A value of ‘-9999’ indicates a confidential value that does not meet the threshold for public disclosure.

Overview

Tables 1 - 5 of the groundfish Economic Status Report present round weight of catch in the groundfish fisheries in the waters off Alaska. These data come from estimates assembled and maintained by the NMFS Alaska Regional Office (AKR). Data for years 1991 - 2002 are from the AKR’s formerly constructed ‘Blend’ estimates of groundfish landings; data for 2003 through the most recent year are from the AKR’s new catch-accounting system (CAS); both the Blend and CAS data sets hold the official estimates of groundfish landings for management purposes. Detail on catch estimation procedures in CAS are available in Cahalan et al. (2014). The Alaska Fisheries Information Network (AKFIN) provides access to the AKR’s Blend and CAS data in the COUNCIL.COMPREHENSIVE_BLEND_CA database table.

NOTE: The CSV files of Table 1 data report catch back to 1981. The data for 1981 - 90 are embedded in a legacy SPSS program script dating from the 1990s; current ESSRP staff do not know the actual source of the 1981 - 90 data.

References:
Cahalan, J., J. Gasper, and J. Mondragon. 2014. Catch sampling and estimation in the federal groundfish fisheries off Alaska, 2015 edition. U.S. Dep. Commer., NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-AFSC-286, 46 p. Available at: http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/Publications/AFSC-TM/NOAA-TM-AFSC-286.pdf

Tables 1 and 1a

Source: NMFS Office of Science and Technology, Fisheries Statistics Division, Fisheries of the United States. Data compiled and provided by the Alaska Fisheries Information Network (AKFIN). National Marine Fisheries Service, P.O. Box 15700, Seattle, WA 98115-0070.

Table 1 reports total catch in the commercial groundfish fisheries off Alaska by area and species; total catch includes both retained and discarded catch from both federally managed fisheries and fisheries managed by the state of Alaska. Refer to the data-dictionary table at the end of this document for breakdowns of the areas and species for which catch is reported.

NOTE: The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is interested in the distinction between state-managed and federally managed groundfish catch, but this is an ambiguous distinction because it’s based on more than whether the catch occurred in Alaska state waters (inside the 3-mile limit) or in the Exclusive Economic Zone (the area between 3 and 200 nautical miles from shore). For years 1991 - 93, we identified all Pacific cod and sablefish catch occurring in reporting areas 649 (Prince William Sound inside waters) and 659 (Southeast inside waters) as state-managed (there was really no alternative for making the distinction in those years). For years 1994 - 2002, we relied on the ‘key’ and ‘cdq’ fields in Blend data to make the distinction (the ‘key’ field is an identifying code for the management account from which the catch was deducted; the ‘cdq’ field identifies the Community Development Quota program associated with the catch): if both the ‘key’ and ‘cdq’ fields were null (blank or missing), we identified the catch as state-managed. For years 2003 through the most recent year, we rely on the ‘state_fishery_flag’ field in the AKR’s CAS data to make the distinction; this field is called ‘akr_state_fishery_flag’ in AKFIN’s COUNCIL.COMPREHENSIVE_BLEND_CA table.

Table 1A reports commercial non-groundfish catch from the waters off Alaska. These data come from the ‘Alaska 8850 report’, which is currently prepared by AKFIN (and previously by the AKR) and which provides input of Alaska fisheries’ catch and ex-vessel value data to NMFS headquarters’ annual Fisheries of the United States report.

Tables 2 - 4

Source: NMFS Alaska Region Blend and Catch-accounting System estimates. Data compiled and provided by the Alaska Fisheries Information Network (AKFIN). National Marine Fisheries Service, P.O. Box 15700, Seattle, WA 98115-0070.

Table 2 reports federally managed commercial groundfish catch off Alaska by area, vessel type, gear and species. The estimates include both retained and discarded catch. The vessel type refers to the harvest sector, which distinguishes between catcher vessels and catcher/processors.

Tables 3 and 4 report federally managed Alaskan commercial groundfish catch by species, gear and target species for the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BSAI), respectively.

NOTE: In general, the AKR assigns the target to the species that had the largest amount of retained catch (for the haul, trip or time period). There are two exceptions to this rule:

  1. If the total catch of pollock is at least 95% of the total groundfish catch (excluding prohibited species and other non-target species), then the AKR assigns the “mid-water pollock” target. If pollock had the largest amount of retained catch but did not meet the 95% threshold, then the general rule assigns the “bottom pollock” target.
  2. In the BSAI, if the combined retained catch of flathead sole (FSOL), rock sole (RSOL), yellowfin sole (YSOL) and other flatfish (FLAT) is the largest amount of retained catch, then
    1. If the retained catch of YSOL is at least 70% of the combined retained catch of FSOL, RSOL, YSOL and FLAT, then the AKR assigns a YSOL target;
    2. Otherwise, the greatest of FSOL, RSOL or FLAT is the target fishery.

Table 5

Source: NMFS Alaska Region Blend and Catch-accounting System estimates; CFEC gross earnings (fish tickets) file; and CFEC vessel registration file. Data compiled and provided by the Alaska Fisheries Information Network (AKFIN). National Marine Fisheries Service, P.O. Box 15700, Seattle, WA 98115-0070.

Table 5 reports federally managed commercial groundfish catch off Alaska by area, residency and species. For catch delivered to motherships, we base the residency on the mothership owner’s state of residence; for other catch, we base the residency on the fishing vessel owner’s state of residence.

Data fields and descriptions

Column Name Description Values Translation Comments
year Calendar year
desig Sector designation C Catcher vessels
P Catcher/Processors
sector Translation of desig code
zone Numeric area code 5 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands
6 Gulf of Alaska
fmp_area FMP area BSAI Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands
GOA Gulf of Alaska
gearcode Code for gear used to land catch HAL Hook-and-line
POT Pot
TWL Trawl
gear Translation of gear code
species_code Group code for landed species AMCK Atka mackerel
FLAT Flatfish
OTHR Other groundfish
PCOD Pacific cod
PLCK Walleye pollock
ROCK Rockfish
SABL Sablefish
species Common name of landed species
targcode Code for target species A Atka mackerel
B Bottom pollock
C Pacific cod
D GOA deep-water flatfish
E Alaska plaice flounder - BSAI
F BSAI other flatfish
H GOA shallow-water flatfish
I Halibut
K Rockfish
L Flathead sole
M Kamchatka flounder - BSAI
O Other species
P Midwater pollock
R Rock sole - BSAI
S Sablefish
T BSAI Greenland turbot
W Arrowtooth flounder
X GOA rex sole
Y BSAI yellowfin sole
Z No retained catch
NULL Other or unknown
target Translation of target code
metric_tons Round weight of catch in metric tons
ak_metric_tons Round weight of catch in metric tons delivered to motherships or landed by vessels owned by Alaska residents Table 5 only
oth_metric_tons Round weight of catch in metric tons delivered to motherships or landed by vessels owned by residents of states other than Alaska Table 5 only
unk_metric_tons Round weight of catch in metric tons for which the residence of the mothership’s or vessel’s owner is unknown Table 5 only