In December, 2011, NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region biologists encountered high winds and 30-foot seas while conducting the first-ever winter sablefish research cruise near Kodiak, Alaska.
Sablefish, also called “black cod,” command some of the highest prices per pound paid to commercial fishers in Alaska, an estimated $100 million dollars per year. Sablefish is prized for its rich and healthy omega-3 oil content and flaky, mild-flavored white flesh. Most of the total world catch of sablefish comes from Alaska.
Sablefish are managed by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. In Alaskan waters, sablefish populations are healthy and above biomass limits. According to NOAA, fishery managers must have current and reliable estimates of how many females there are in the population that are mature enough to spawn, so they have given this particular sablefish research project the highest priority.
The new study is a joint effort between the Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s Resource Assessment and Conservation Engineering (RACE) and Auke Bay Laboratories (ABL) divisions with support from NOAA’s Alaska Regional Office.
For more information, visit: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/fishwatch/species/sablefish.htm
source: NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region