Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers

A Model for Sustainable

Fishery Management
Industry Initiatives

Fisheries Management

The Alaska pollock fishery is managed by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC). Created by Congress, the NPFMC ensures that the Alaska pollock fishery complies with conservation and management standards set forth in law. The NPFMC has an excellent track record of managing fishery resources sustainably during its more than 40 years of existence.

Based on Science
The management system depends on science to determine sustainable catch levels. Federal scientists conduct annual research surveys to collect the information necessary to estimate fish population abundance. They also maintain research survey data covering several decades, enhancing the accuracy of annual estimates. Using this information, the scientists make a conservative

pollock harvest

recommendation each year on the amount of pollock that can be harvested on a sustainable basis, or the Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC).

> The management of the Alaska pollock fishery has been based on science for over 40 years.
> The pollock quota is always set at or below the Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC).
> 100% of boats and plants in the Bering Sea Alaska pollock fishery have federal fisheries observers on board.

Conservative Catch Limits
Based on the scientists' recommendations, the NPFMC sets the annual Total Allowable Catch (TAC), or quota, for the Alaska pollock fishery. The TAC is always set at or below the Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) level recommended by fishery scientists.

Federal Fishery Observer Monitoring
Independent federally trained observers are present on board fishing boats and at onshore processing plants to report catch amounts to the National Marine Fisheries Service. The reports are filed electronically, allowing for real-time accounting to ensure that catch limits are not exceeded. Vessels are also equipped with Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) units that allow federal regulators to track vessel locations on a real-time basis.

Fishing Cooperatives
Instead of the historical “race for the fish” used in many fisheries,the Alaska pollock fishery has been operated on a quota system since 1999. All participants in the fishery are granted a percentage of the total catch and are allowed to harvest it at their own rate. This allows the fishery to operate more safely, produce better quality and better utilize the fish they catch.

Increased Utilization
Since the advent of the quota system, processors have been able to utilize a higher percentage of the Alaska pollock they catch. Improved recovery of edible meat, the development of specialty food products and supplements, and the conversion of inedible portions of the fish into fish meal all contribute to better use of the Alaska pollock resource.

Ecosystem-Based Management
From conservative catch quotas, to habitat protection, to bycatch controls, to comprehensive monitoring and enforcement, ecosystem considerations are a key component in management decisions.

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