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 40 - 50 of the groundfish SAFE Economic Status Report present data on selected measures of fishing capacity and effort in federally-managed Alaska groundfish fisheries, including fleet size, duration of fishing, and levels of harvesting and processing employment by at-sea processors. Sources of effort data reported in this series of tables are as follows:

  1. Vessel counts, landed weight, and weeks fished are sourced from the following datasets:
    1. NMFS Alaska Region (AKR) ‘Blend’ and Catch-Accounting System (CAS) data provide the official estimates of groundfish catch for management purposes. The Blend system includes landings data for years 1991 - 2002; CAS includes landings data for years 2003 onward. A major difference between the Blend and CAS datasets is that the latter includes identifiers for catcher vessels delivering to shoreside processors and to motherships, which provides for more comprehensive counts of vessels participating in groundfish fisheries. Blend and CAS data are sourced from the Alaska Fisheries Information Network (AKFIN) data table COUNCIL.COMPREHENSIVE_BLEND_CA.
    2. The state of Alaska’s Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC) gross earnings (fish ticket) file contains landings of both groundfish and non-groundfish species by catcher vessels. Data are sourced from the AKFIN data table COUNCIL.COMPREHENSIVE_FT, which includes target fishery information appended using the same rules for target assignment used in AKR’s Blend and CAs data (see below for additional information on targeting rules).
    3. North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program data collected and maintained by the Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis division (FMA) at the AFSC include identifiers of catcher vessels delivering to at-sea and shoreside processors. Observer data for years up to and through 2002 were obtained directly from AFSC, with the target fishery assigned by ESSRP staff. Data for years 2003 forward are sourced from the AKFIN data table COUNCIL.COMPREHENSIVE_OBS, which includes target fishery information appended by AKR staff (see below for additional information on targeting rules).
  2. Crew size information for at-sea processors is sourced from NMFS AKR At-Sea Production Reports.
  3. Information on vessel characteristics (i.e., vessel length and net tonnage) is sourced from CFEC vessel registration and NMFS AKR federal fishery permit data. This information is included in the AKFIN “comprehensive” data tables noted above.

All effort tables report information only for vessels participating in federally managed fisheries. These tables are not directly useable or comparable with Tables 36-39B in that they do not count vessels and fishing for trips where halibut is identified as the target species.

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.

For the effort tables described here, the two pollock targets (mid-water and bottom) are grouped together and all flatfish targets (flathead sole, rock sole, yellowfin sole, and other flatfish) are grouped together.

Net tonnage as used in these tables relates to vessel volume and is not to be confused with displacement or weight tonnage.

Tables 40-49

Source: NMFS Alaska Region Blend and Catch-accounting System estimates; CFEC gross earnings (fish tickets) file; NMFS Alaska Region groundfish observer data; NMFS Alaska Region permit data; 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 40 reports the number and total registered net tonnage of vessels that caught groundfish off Alaska by area and gear.

Table 41 reports the number of vessels that caught groundfish off Alaska by area, vessel category (catcher vessels or catcher/processors), gear and target.

Table 42 reports the number, mean length and mean net tonnage for catcher vessels that caught groundfish off Alaska by area, vessel-length class and gear.

Table 43 reports the number of smaller (<60 feet in length) hook-and-line catcher vessels that caught groundfish off Alaska by area and vessel-length class.

Table 44 reports the number, mean length and mean net tonnage for catcher/processor vessels that caught and processed groundfish off Alaska by area, vessel-length class and gear.

Table 45 reports the number of vessels that caught groundfish off Alaska by area, tonnage caught and gear. Tonnage caught is the weight of groundfish landed in metric tons. For this table, tonnage caught is grouped into three categories: less than 2 metric tons, between 2 and 25 metric tons, and greater than 25 metric tons.

Table 46 reports the number of vessels that caught groundfish off Alaska by area, residency of the vessel owner, gear and target.

Table 47 reports the number of vessels that caught groundfish off Alaska by month, area, vessel type (catcher vessels or catcher/processors), and gear.

Table 48 reports the catcher vessel (excluding catcher/processors) weeks of fishing groundfish off Alaska by area, vessel-length class, gear and target.

Table 49 reports the catcher/processor vessel weeks of fishing groundfish off Alaska by area, vessel-length class, gear and target.

Table 50

Source: NMFS Alaska Region At-sea Production Reports. Data compiled and provided by the Alaska Fisheries Information Network (AKFIN). National Marine Fisheries Service, P.O. Box 15700, Seattle, WA 98115-0070.

Table 50 reports total at-sea processor vessel crew weeks in the groundfish fisheries off Alaska by month and area.

Data fields and descriptions

Column Name Description Values Translation
year Calendar year
zone Code for FMP area 5 BSAI
6 GOA
9 All AK
area FMP area BSAI Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands
GOA Gulf of Alaska
All AK All of Alaska
gearcode Code for fishing gear used ALL All Gear
HAL Hook & Line
POT Pot
TWL Trawl
gear Fishing gear used for harvesting All gear
Hook & Line
Pot
Trawl
vessel_type Type of harvesting vessel All Vessels
At-Sea Processors
Catcher/Processors
Catcher Vessels
owner_residence The vessel owner’s state of residence Alaska The state of Alaska
Other States other than Alaska
Unknown The residence of the vessel owner is unknown
target Target species assigned to a unit of catch All Groundfish
Atka mackerel
Flatfish
Other/Unknown
Pacific cod
Pollock
Rockfish
Sablefish
length_class Vessel length class (feet) <26 Less than 26 feet (Table 43)
26-30 At least 26 feet and less than 30 feet (Table 43)
30-35 At least 30 feet and less than 35 feet (Table 43)
35-40 At least 35 feet and less than 40 feet (Table 43)
40-45 At least 40 feet and less than 45 feet (Table 43)
45-50 At least 45 feet and less than 50 feet (Table 43)
50-55 At least 50 feet and less than 55 feet (Table 43)
55-60 At least 55 feet and less than 60 feet (Table 43)
>60 Greater than 60 feet (Table 43)
<60 Less than 60 feet (Tables 42, 48, 49)
60-125 At least 60 feet and less than 125 feet (Tables 42, 48, 49)
>=125 Greater than or equal to 125 feet (Tables 42, 48)
<125 Less than 125 feet (Table 44)
125-130 At least 125 and no more than 230 feet (Table 49)
>230 Greater than 230 feet (Table 49)
125-165 At least 125 and no more than 165 feet (Table 44)
165-235 Greater than 165 and no more than 235 feet (Table 44)
235-260 Greater than 235 and no more than 260 feet (Table 44)
>260 Greater than 260 feet (Table 44)
mo Numerical code for the month of the year 1 through 12
month 3-character abbreviation of the month Jan - Dec
wtclass Code for class based on weight of landings 1 Less than 2 metric tons
2 At least 2 but no more than 25 metric tons
25 Greater than 25 metric tons
groundfish_landed_weight Translation of landings-weight code Less than 2t Less than 2 metric tons
2t to 25 t At least 2 but no more than 25 metric tons
More than 25t Greater than 25 metric tons
vessel_count Number of vessels
total_net_tons Total net tonnage (volume) of the vessels
mean_vessel_length_ft Average length of the vessels
mean_vessel_net_tons Average net tonnage (volume) of the vessels
weeks_fishing_groundfish Number of weeks the vessels fished
crew_weeks Total weekly crew size