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 6 - 10 of the groundfish SAFE Economic Status Report present weights of groundfish discards and discard rates in federally managed 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 and discards; 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 and discards used 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 that changes to the observer program in 2013 may affect the comparability of 2013 and later years to previous years. Beginning in 2013, the CAS includes more comprehensive estimates of groundfish discarded in the fixed gear halibut fishery. Discard rates prior to 2013 are calculated as the weight of federally-managed groundfish discards divided by the weight of groundfish catch, excluding discards and catch of groundfish on halibut targets. Beginning in 2013, discard rates represent the weight of federally-managed groundfish discards divided by the weight of groundfish and halibut catch, and are calculated inclusive of catch on halibut targets. Discard volumes in all years include discards on halibut targets.

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 6 - 10

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 6 reports total round weight of discarded catch and rates of discards in the federally managed groundfish fisheries in the waters off Alaska by area, gear and species. The CSV data files for Table 6 report total round weight of catch, round weight of retained catch, round weight of discarded catch and the discard rate. We define the discard rate as the weight of discarded catch divided by the total round weight of catch. Refer to the data-dictionary table at the end of this document for breakdowns of the areas, gear and species for which discards are reported.

Tables 7 and 8 report groundfish discards in the federally managed groundfish fisheries off Alaska by species, gear and target fishery for the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BSAI), respectively.

Tables 9 and 10 report groundfish discard rates in the federally managed groundfish fisheries off Alaska by species, gear and target fishery for the GOA and BSAI, respectively. As for Table 6, we define the discard rate as the weight of discarded catch divided by the total round weight of catch.

The CSV data files for Tables 7 - 10 report total round weight of catch, round weight of discarded catch and the discard rate. Note that discard rates are not shown for halibut targets in Tables 7 - 10 prior to 2013.

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.

Data fields and descriptions

Column Name Description Values Translation
year Calendar year
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 FIX Fixed gear (includes hook-and-line and pot)
HAL Hook-and-line
POT Pot
TWL Trawl
gear Translation of gear code
species_code Code for landed species AMCK Atka mackerel
ARTH Arrowtooth flounder
DEEP GOA deep-water flatfish
FLAT Flatfish
FLOU BSAI other flatfish
FSOL Flathead sole
GTRB Greenland turbot
KMKA Kamchatka flounder
OTHR Other groundfish
PCOD Pacific cod
PLCK Walleye pollock
REXS Rex sole
ROCK Rockfish
RSOL Rock sole
SABL Sablefish
SHAL GOA shallow-water flatfish
YSOL Yellowfin sole
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 Total round weight of catch in metric tons
retain_mt Round weight of retained catch in metric tons
discard_mt Round weight of discarded catch in metric tons
discard_rate Discard rate Weight of discarded catch divided by total round weight