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Sustainable 2009 Harvest Set for Alaska Pollock

December 15, 2008

JUNEAU, Alaska, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ — The North Pacific Fisheries
Management Council (NPFMC) announced December 13 the 2009 Alaska pollock total
allowable catch (TAC) of 815,000 metric tons, an 18.5% reduction from 2008.
The decision follows the recommendations of scientists to ensure the ongoing
sustainability of the stock due to the cyclically lower abundance of Alaska
pollock.

“We manage Alaska’s fisheries with a steadfast commitment to science.
That’s affirmed by the Council’s recent action regarding the Alaska pollock
harvest,” said Doug Mecum, Director of the Alaska Region of the National
Marine Fisheries Service.

Alaska pollock, the popular whitefish used in everything from fish
sandwiches to surimi, is the largest commercial food fishery in the world.
Like all biological populations, Alaska pollock undergo cyclic variations in
their abundance. Scientists with NMFS, a division of the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), predicted this year’s decline in biomass
due to low numbers of pollock reaching maturity between 2000 and 2005.
However, a strong class of young pollock from 2006 is expected to again
increase the biomass in 2009.

For over thirty years, the Council has upheld the sustainable harvest
level recommended by scientists. In fact, the harvest limit for Alaska pollock
is always set substantially below the level scientists say will biologically
protect the stocks, never above. This precautionary approach means the
long-term health of both the fish and the ecosystem are the top priority, and
is one reason why Alaska’s fisheries are considered a model of sustainability
for the world.

Fishing for Alaska pollock is prohibited in certain areas, to protect the
vulnerable concentrations of spawning pollock. Further, Alaska’s marine
protected areas (MPAs) protect critical habitats, marine mammals, and other
species and maintain a healthy ecosystem with fishing restrictions over
thousands of square miles. No species of Alaska seafood has ever been listed
as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

Details about the sustainable management of Alaska fisheries are available
at the website of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
http://www.alaskaseafood.org. The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is a
partnership of the State of Alaska and the Alaska seafood industry, promoting
Alaska seafood in the U.S. and key overseas markets, and offering seafood
industry education. ASMI’s international marketing efforts receive support
from the U.S.D.A. Foreign Agricultural Service through the Market Access
Program.

SOURCE The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute


Source: newswire



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