Limit put on P-cod catcher vessels in western GOA

Federal fisheries officials have issued a temporary rule prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels using trawl gear in the western regulatory area of the Gulf of Alaska.

The closure rule, issued on Feb. 25, will remain in effect through June 10.

The National Marine Fishery Service said the closure is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2019 Pacific cod total allowable catch apportioned to trawl catcher vessels in the western regulatory area of the Gulf.

NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the Gulf’s exclusive economic zone under the Gulf fishery management plan for groundfish prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

The A season allowance of the 2019 Pacific cod total allowable catch apportioned to trawl catcher vessels in the western regulatory area of the Gulf is 1,443 metric tons. NMFS has determined that the A season allowance will soon be reached and has established a directed fishing allowance of 1,300 metric tons and is setting aside the remaining 143 metric tons as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries.