Last updated on 29 January 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Atheresthes stomias

SPECIES NAME(s)

Arrow-tooth flounder

This fishery was certified by the Marine Stewardship Council system in June 2010. Click here to link to the MSC fishery page and to learn more about the MSC fishery certification unit.

Arrowtooth flounder are assessed and managed as a single unit in the Gulf of Alaska {Spies and Turnock 2014}.


ANALYSIS

No related analysis

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

10

Managers Compliance:

10

Fishers Compliance:

10

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

10

Future Health:

10


RECOMMENDATIONS

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN
  • Monitor the performance of the fishery and its management to ensure the fishery continues to be eligible for condition-free MSC re-certification.

FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Alaska Flatfish - Gulf of Alaska:

    MSC Recertified

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
Gulf of Alaska US Alaska United States Twin bottom otter trawls

Analysis

OVERVIEW

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 1 November 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Monitor the performance of the fishery and its management to ensure the fishery continues to be eligible for condition-free MSC re-certification.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 21 March 2009

The 2007 stock assessment for Gulf of Alaska arrowtooth flounder uses survey biomass estimates from several sources: International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) trawl surveys, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) groundfish surveys, and NMFS triennial surveys. Data for some years in the 1960s and 1970s includes some Gulfwide figures derived by combining data from different regions within the Gulf that the IPHC and NMFS surveyed in rotation rather than simultaneously. The 2007 assessment, used to guide management of the 2008 fishery, used 2006 and partial 2007 fishery catch data, biomass and length composition from the 2007 NMFS bottom trawl survey; age composition from the 2005 NMFS bottom trawl survey; and length at age data from 1984-2005 which was used to update the age-length transition matrix.

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 26 January 2011

Stock assessment authors calculated the 2008 recommended maximum limit on harvests (the Acceptable Biological Catch or ABC) using F40%, which would translate to an authorized fishing mortality of 0.186. This produced an estimated 2008 ABC of 226,470 tonnes, up 42,462 tonnes from 2007. The authors calculated the yield at F35%, the designated overfishing level to be 266,914 tonnes.

Reference Points

Last updated on 26 Jan 2011

The current stock assessment provides the following reference point estimates for 2008:

Biomass:
Female spawning biomass at B40% : 489,493 tonnes.
Current female spawning biomass : 1,275,310 tonnes.
Equilibrium unfished female spawning biomass : 1,222,373 tonnes.
Total current biomass (age 3+) : 2,244,870 tonnes.

Fishing Mortality:
F40% : 0.186(designated as Fabc)
F35% : 0.222(designated as Fofl)

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 26 January 2011

Arrowtooth flounder “are currently the most abundant groundfish in the Gulf of Alaska,” note authors of the 2007 stock assessment. Although the species is known to range from Central California to the Bering Sea, stock structure and migrations are not understood (GOA ATF SAFE 2007).

Trends

Last updated on 26 Jan 2011

“The estimated age 3+ biomass from the model increased from 332,688 tonnes in 1961 to a high of 2,258,030 tonnes in 2006 and a slight decrease in biomass to 2007 at 2,256,030 tonnes. Female spawning biomass was estimated at 1,208,120 tonnes, at 4% decline from the projected 2007 biomass (fishing at the average 5 year F) of 1,254,030 tonnes from the 2005 assessment” (Source: GOA ATF SAFE, p.451). Reduced length-at-age in the current assessment contributed to the lower estimate of female spawning biomass.

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 21 March 2009

Managers consistently have set the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) far below the maximum acceptable level recommended by scientists for this stock. These catch limits have been set lower for several reasons, but a major factor is the desire to constrain trawl bycatch of Halibut and other prohibited species. Halibut are targeted by longline and recreational/charter fishermen.

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 21 Mar 2009

None required.

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 26 January 2011

Catch consistently has been significantly lower than the set TAC, largely due to bycatch constraints that limit trawlers’ access to the arrowtooth resource and limited market interest in the catch. Catch in 2007 was 23,977 tonnes, against a TAC of 43,000 tonnes.

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 21 March 2009

The Gulf of Alaska arrowtooth flounder fishery overlaps spatially with the range of an endangered western stock of Steller sea lions, but arrowtooth harvest—accounting for about 2% of adult arrowtooth mortality—has not been implicated as a potential competitor for food. Arrowtooth abundance correlates negatively with Steller sea lion abundance; both species are major predators on pollock, and arrowtooth alone “are responsible for more than one third of pollock mortality” in the Gulf of Alaska (2007 SAFE introduction, p.11).

Other Species

Last updated on 26 January 2011

Bycatch of halibut, an important target species for several other fisheries, has been a limiting factor on production of arrowtooth in the Gulf of Alaska. In this region all trawl fisheries combined are authorized in 2008 to take 2,000 tonnes of halibut as bycatch, which they are not permitted to sell. This total “prohibited species catch” is apportioned between fisheries; whenever a fleet reaches its cap on halibut bycatch, fishing for the targeted species is terminated.

HABITAT

Last updated on 21 March 2009

Arrowtooth are caught by bottom trawl in a wide depth range, so the fishery has the potential to alter bottom habitats. However, a network of marine reserves, protected areas and closures constrains these impacts in the Gulf of Alaska.

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 21 Mar 2009

See discussion of year-round closures in section on Habitat, above.

FishSource Scores

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2010 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the F at low biomass as a percentage of the F management target.

The F at low biomass is 0.00 (from management plan). The F management target is 0.183 .

The underlying F at low biomass/F management target for this index is 0.00%.

As calculated for 2011 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the Set TAC as a percentage of the ABC.

The Set TAC is 43.0 ('000 t). The ABC is 213 ('000 t) .

The underlying Set TAC/ABC for this index is 20.2%.

As calculated for 2009 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the Catch as a percentage of the Set TAC.

The Catch is 24.9 ('000 t). The Set TAC is 43.0 ('000 t) .

The underlying Catch/Set TAC for this index is 58.0%.

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2010 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the SSB as a percentage of the SSB=SSB40%.

The SSB is 1250 ('000 t). The SSB=SSB40% is 479 .

The underlying SSB/SSB=SSB40% for this index is 262%.

As calculated for 2009 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the F as a percentage of the F management target.

The F is 0.0170 (age-averaged). The F management target is 0.186 .

The underlying F/F management target for this index is 9.14%.

To see data for biomass, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for catch and tac, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for fishing mortality, please view this site on a desktop.
No data available for recruitment
No data available for recruitment
To see data for management quality, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for stock status, please view this site on a desktop.

Download Source Data

Registered users can download the original data file for calculating the scores after logging in. If you wish, you can Register now.

Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

SELECT MSC

NAME

Alaska Flatfish - Gulf of Alaska

STATUS

MSC Recertified on 1 June 2010

SCORES

Principle Level Scores:

Principle Score
Principle 1 – Target Species – Arrowtooth flounder 98.8
Principle 1 – Target Species – Flathead Sole 98.8
Principle 1 – Target Species – Northern Rock Sole 98.8
Principle 1 – Target Species – Southern Rock Sole 98.8
Principle 1 – Target Species – Rex Sole 87.5
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 89.7
Principle 3 – Management System 99.0

Certification Type: Gold

Sources

Credits
  1. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2011. Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska; Final 2011 and 2012 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish. Federal Register Vol. 76, No. 40http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/frules/76fr11111.pdf
  2. Powers, J., G. Tingley, S. Hanna & P. Knapman, 2010. MSC Public Certification Report for the Gulf of Alaska Arrowtooth Flounder Trawl Fishery. Moody Marine Ltd.http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified/pacific/gulf-of-alaska-flatfish/assessment-downloads-1/20.05.2010-goa-arrowtooth-flounder-pcr.pdf
  3. Rice, J., Bowen, D., Hanna, S., Blyth-Skyrme, R. 2013. Third Annual Surveillance Report Gulf of Alaska Flatfish Fisheries. Intertek Moody Marine, July 2013, 28pphttp://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/certified/pacific/gulf-of-alaska-flatfish/assessment-downloads-1/20130716_SR_FLA49.pdf
  4. Rice, J., Bowen, D., Trumble, R. J., 2014. Fourth Annual Surveillance Report- Gulf of Alaska Flatfish Fishery. MRAG Americas, Inc., July 2014. 14pphttp://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/certified/pacific/gulf-of-alaska-flatfish/assessment-downloads-1/20140724_SR_FLA049.pdf
  5. Spies, I., and Turnock, B.J. 2014. Assessment of the arrowtooth flounder stock in the Gulf of Alaska. Alaska Fisheries Science Center. http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/REFM/Docs/2014/GOAatf.pdf
  6. Turnock, B.J., 2010. Assessment of the Arrowtooth Flounder Stock in the Gulf of Alaska (Executive Summary). Alaska Fisheries Science Centre.http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/refm/docs/2010/GOAatf.pdf
  7. Turnock, B.J. & T.K. Wilderbuer, 2007. Gulf of Alaska Arrowtooth Flounder Stock Assessment. 2007 North Pacific Groundfish Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation Reports for 2008. Alaska Fisheries Science Centre.http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/refm/docs/2007/GOAatf.pdf
  8. Turnock, B.J. & T.K. Wilderbuer, 2009. Gulf of Alaska Arrowtooth Flounder Assessment. 2009 North Pacific Groundfish Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation Reports for 2010. Alaska Fisheries Science Centre.http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/refm/docs/2009/GOAatf.pdf
References

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