NPFMC drops cod quota

As expected, the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council has voted to drop the Gulf of Alaska Pacific cod quota by 80 percent, from the 2017 total allowable catch of 64,442 metric tons to a TAC of 13,096 mt.

The heart-stopping drop was at the high end of earlier predicted cuts, and is related to two-year classes not surviving the high ocean temperatures that existed during 2015 and 2016 in the North Pacific, dubbed by climatologists as the “warm blob.”

The TACs set last week at the Council meeting are the most severe drops in years, and part of mixed news for GOA bottom fish stocks.

The Bering Sea P-cod TAC went down 15 percent, while the BSAI pollock TAC for 2018 was raised by 19,000 mt to 1,383,841 mt.

The sablefish TAC for 2018 was increased nearly 15 percent to 3,452 mt, joined by increases in Pacific Ocean perch, up nearly 5,000 mt to 74,722 mt for 2018; northern rockfish, up 22 percent to 6,100 mt; Atka mackerel’s TAC increased 9 percent to 142,000 mt, and other bottom fish including Pacific Ocean Perch also went up.

The Council has the choice of setting the quotas at a Total Allowable Catch or the Allowable Biological Catch, a number which the Council cannot exceed.

Council member Buck Laukitis said that they set the TAC for arrowtooth flounder below the ABC because of the relatively high number of halibut bycatch in the fishery.

While Laukitis stressed that he is not a spokesman for the NPFMC, he did say that GOA cod fishermen should talk to fishery managers and other fishermen about the upcoming season.

“The basic word is major changes to cod, very grim, and people need to start planning because whatever you were doing last year, it’s not going to be the same,” he said.

“Take a hard look, talk to managers, try to figure out what your sector looks like. There’s some people who really don’t know how managers are approaching things; they’re not going to open some seasons, there’s going to be short seasons, and if you’re hiring crew and pulling pots off the beach or expecting to go (somewhere) and have a month-long season you’re going to be disappointed.”

He added that managers are not going to want to predict might happen in different scenarios.

“We’re in a whole new world,” Laukitis said.

Cristy Fry can be reached at

More in Opinion

Letters to the editor

Trawler fleets to blame for king salmon losses In reference to a July… Continue reading

Homer News Letters to the Editor

Thanks for Elks Scholarship I would like to thank the Homer Elks… Continue reading

Special bird tape on windows can help reduce collisions of birds flying into the glass. (Photo provided)
What just hit my window?

The following is the latest in a monthly series of articles about… Continue reading

Letters to the editor

Trail access should be protected I own a cabin in Homer and… Continue reading

Public trails should be protected in Dorothy Drive area

Thanks to the Homer News for reporting on the proposal to vacate… Continue reading

Flo Larson
Music in our spheres

Recently in my home state, I stood on a butte and looked… Continue reading

Homer News Letters to the Editor

We’ll be back Thirty years ago our family left Homer and headed… Continue reading

Homer, Alaska: Letters to the editor

I ask everyone in our community to “be yourself” and work hard to accept others for who they are. The diverse viewpointsexpressed in Homer are what make us strong. We can be diverse. Respectful. Equal. And, yes, inclusive.

A cat with a dead bird. (Photo with permission from Clare Nielsen American Bird Conservatory Birds)
Point of View: No cat left outdoors

Birds lead a busy and precarious life. When they aren’t spending their… Continue reading

Most Read