Sablefish fishery opens April 15 with 208,000-pound GHL

Sablefish, also known as black cod. Photo by Margaret Bauman/for The Cordova Times

Fifty-seven permits have been issued by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for the Prince William Sound sablefish season, which opens on April 15 with a guideline harvest level of 208,000 pounds, up from 167,000 pounds a year ago.

The fishery runs through Aug. 31.

The 2021 GHL was adjusted from 2020 by applying the relative change between the prior and current year of the National Marine Fisheries Service Gulf of Alaska sablefish acceptable biological catch, which is derived from NMFS stock assessment surveys.

Fishing is again restricted to the Inside District and is managed by quota allocations among vessel size permit classes. Registration closed on April 1.

Each permit holder’s harvest total will be verified based on the weight of sablefish delivered.

The 2120 GHL is the highest since 2014.

From 2010 through 2014 the GHL remained at 242,000 pounds, with the highest harvest for those years being 222,099 pounds in 2011.

In 2015 state fishery managers lowered the GHL to 122,000 pounds. Harvesters that year delivered 16,910 pounds of sablefish.

ADF&G officials reminded harvesters a sablefish quota overage is illegal harvest and may be subject to prosecution.

Six-hour prior notice of landings for sablefish is required, and can be made by calling 907-424-7225 and reporting the permit holder’s name and landing location name of buyer or processor; estimated time of arrival; and estimated number of pounds of sablefish on board and whether the fish is dressed or whole.

Vessel operators must unload all sablefish taken in Prince William Sound and a copy of the completed fish ticket must be submitted to ADF&G before taking sablefish in another area. Vessel operators with sablefish on board taken in another registration area may not harvest sablefish in Prince William Sound.

For further information, contact Jan Rumble at 907-321-1569 or Elia Russ at 907-399-1721.