Pacific cod appears to be making a comeback in the Gulf of Alaska after getting clobbered by a multi-year heat wave starting in 2014 that wiped out several year classes. That shut down the fishery this year in federal waters of the Gulf from three to 200 miles offshore. But P-cod is back on the fishing menu.
The North Pacific Council last week set a Gulf-wide catch for next year at just over 38 million pounds.
For the state water fishery, the cod catch next year is nearly 14 million pounds compared to just 5.6 million pounds this year.
P-Cod took a 21 percent cut in the Bering Sea to 245 million pounds.
Likewise, the Bering Sea pollock catch for next year was reduced by 3.5% to three billion pounds. Gulf pollock was cut by 2.4% to about 250 million pounds.
Cod and pollock start the fishing year off in January.
Other forecasts call for Southeast Alaska’s pink salmon harvest next summer to be “average” at 28 million. Kodiak’s pink catch is pegged at 22.5 million and a “excellent” catch of nearly 13 million humpies is projected at the South Peninsula.
Meanwhile, Southeast trollers are still out on the water pulling up king salmon. Beam trawl and pot shrimping continues at the Panhandle, along with diving for sea cucumbers along with geoduck clams.
Crabbing continues in the Bering Sea for golden kings and bairdi Tanners. Red king crab is about a wrap and fishing for snow crab will get underway next month.