Temporary closure for trawl gear in GOA EEZ

Federal fisheries officials have issued a temporary closure to vessels using trawl gear for directed fishing of species that comprise the deep water species fishery in the Gulf of Alaska.

The closure from April 13 through May 15 is necessary because the second seasonal apportionment of Pacific halibut bycatch for the deep-water species fishery in the Gulf of Alaska has been reach, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Under the fishery management plan for groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the Gulf exclusive economic zone.

The second seasonal apportionment of Pacific halibut bycatch specified for the deep-water species fishery in the Gulf is 256 metric tons, and that allowance has been reached, NMFS officials said. Consequently, NMFS is now prohibiting until May 15 directed fishing for deep-water species fisheries by vessels using trawl gear in the Gulf.

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Species and species groups comprising the deep-water species fishery include sablefish, rockfish, deep-water flatfish, rex sole and arrowtooth flouder.