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NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-339

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Results of the 2016 eastern Bering Sea upper continental slope survey of groundfish and invertebrate resourceslternative sampling designs for the 2017 Annual Deployment Plan of the North Pacific Observer Program

Abstract

The results of the 2016 Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s (AFSC) bottom trawl survey of the groundfish and invertebrate resources of the eastern Bering Sea upper continental slope (EBSS) are presented. The 2016 EBSS survey is the sixth standardized biennial groundfish bottom trawl survey of this region. One-hundred eighty-nine successful survey bottom trawls were conducted between 200 and 1,200 m depth on the eastern Bering Sea slope. The survey area extended from Unalaska and Akutan Island in Alaska (54° N) to the U.S-Russian maritime boundary at 61° N. Sampling was stratified by six subareas running south to north and by five depth strata within each subarea. Stations were chosen randomly and target sampling density was proportional to the area in each stratum. Mean sampling density was approximately one tow per 173 km2. This report provides estimates of biomass in metric tons (t), population number, and catch per unit effort (CPUE; no./ha and kg/ha) for all taxa identified on the survey. Size frequencies (42 species) and CPUE distribution plots (41 species) are presented for the most abundant species or species of commercial interest. The five fish species with the greatest estimated survey biomass were giant grenadier (Albatrossia pectoralis), Pacific ocean perch (Sebastes alutus), popeye grenadier (Coryphaenoides cinereus), walleye pollock (Gadus chalcogramma) and arrowtooth flounder (Atheresthes stomias).



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