This is Fish Radio. I’m Stephanie Mangini. Federal and state cod seasons could be shaping up. More after this . . .

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Pacific cod makes up 11% of Alaska’s total fish deliveries. It marks the start of a new fishing season as it opens January 1 of each New Year. The Federal water fishery is first with a bumped up quota this year.

“This year it is 39,825 metric tons for the 2014 Central Gulf region.” 

Obren Davis is a Fisheries Management Specialist for the National Marine Fisheries Service, he quoted nearly 88 million pounds of P cod among all gear types within the sector splits that were applied a few years back. Gulf pot and jig fishermen have begun fishing the nearly 19 million pound quota, with a dock price at 32 to 35 cents per pound. The 10-cent jump in price is bringing more effort to this year’s season, compared to last year’s 23 to 25 cent ranges.

“The biggest gripe was low prices, which of course translates into less effort. So with less guys out there they are less likely to get on the fish. It’s a little circular so it seems.” 

Davis says, “he is not a fisherman so he will leave those thoughts to the experts.” Gulf pot fishermen have brought in around 200 thousand pounds so far . . .

Come early February, just seven days after the federal season wraps up state water cod begins. The 3 mile offshore line gives smaller boats a chance at the cod-fish pie.

“The total Kodiak area quota is 14.6 million pounds and that is split between pot and jig gear and each gear type gets 50% of the total quota or about 7.3 million pounds.” 

Trent Hartill is a Groundfish Management Biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Kodiak. The State water quota is a million pounds more this year.

“The last three year’s the A, B, C has been pretty consistent. For this year the A, B, C is up about 7% from 2013.” 

With a better price and slightly bigger quotas the 2014 cod season is looking up. Hartill adds that it is too early to say how the fishery will shape up, but as the federal season really gets underway and closer to state waters opening they will have a better idea what the outcome could be. Trawling for groundfish will begin the 20th of January.

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Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, celebrating 101 years of partnership with Alaska’s coastal communities. www.oceanbeauty.com  In Kodiak, I’m Stephanie mangini.

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