National Fisherman

A new scientific assessment of the butterfish population indicates that the stock is not overfished and that overfishing is not occurring. These findings were detailed in the 58th Stock Assessment Workshop (SAW) Summary Report, which was released by the NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center last month after being approved by a panel of external peer reviewers during the Stock Assessment Review Committee (SARC) process.
The results of this assessment are particularly significant because the status of butterfish had been classified as "unknown" since the previous assessment was completed in 2010 (SAW/SARC 49). Although the SARC 49 review panel had agreed that overfishing was not likely occurring, it did not accept the adequacy of the biological reference points (BRPs) used for stock status determination. 
The high degree of uncertainty in the previous assessment was due in part to the biology of the stock. Butterfish are relatively short-lived and experience high rates of natural mortality. These factors make the stock size strongly dependent on recruitment, resulting in high variability in stock size estimates from year to year.   
Read the full story at Southeast Green>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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