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NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-215

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Data Report: 2010 Aleutian Islands bottom trawl survey

Abstract

The fifth biennial groundfish assessment survey of the Aleutian Islands region was conducted during the summer of 2010 by the Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s (AFSC) Resource Assessment and Conservation Engineering (RACE) Division. This effort constitutes the eleventh in the full series dating from 1980. The survey area covered the continental shelf and upper continental slope to 500 m in the Aleutian Archipelago from Islands of Four Mountains (170° W long.) to Stalemate Bank (170° E long.), including Petrel Bank and Petrel Spur (180° long.), and the northern side of the Aleutian Islands between Unimak Pass (165° W long.) and the Islands of Four Mountains. The survey was conducted aboard two chartered trawlers, the FV Ocean Explorer and FV Sea Storm. Samples were collected successfully at 418 survey stations using standard RACE Division Poly Nor’Eastern high-opening bottom trawl nets with rubber bobbin roller gear. The primary survey objectives were to define the distribution and estimate the relative abundance of principal groundfish and commercially or ecologically important invertebrate species that inhabit the Aleutian marine habitat and to collect data to define biological parameters useful to fisheries researchers and managers such as growth rates; length-weight relationships; feeding habits; and size, sex, and age compositions. Pacific ocean perch, or POP (Sebastes alutus), and Atka mackerel (Pleurogrammus monopterygius) were by far the most abundant species in the survey area with estimated biomasses greater than 976,000 and 930,000 metric tons (t), respectively. Catches of POP were large throughout the survey area at intermediate depths. Arrowtooth flounder (Atheresthes stomias) were the dominant flatfish species and were ubiquitous. The skate assemblage was made up of predominantly two species, whiteblotched skate (Bathyraja maculata) and Aleutian skate (B. aleutica), with a wide diversity of species captured in the eastern portion of the survey area. Survey results are presented as estimates of catch per unit of effort and biomass, species distribution and relative abundance, population size composition, and length-weight relationships for commercially important species and for others of biological interest.



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