Most Black Cod Fishermen Allowed 5 Percent Catch Increase

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

Most Alaska black cod fishermen will see a higher allocation next year.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council recently approved staff recommendations to increase the allowable catch by 5 percent statewide. Black cod, also called sablefish, are mostly sold to Asia, though domestic markets are increasing.

Southeast numbers will jump 14 percent and quotas in the west Yakutat area will go up 24 percent. Other increases are 5 percent in the central Gulf and 2 percent in the Bering Sea. The Western Gulf will drop 2 percent, and the Aleutians 8 percent.

Diana Stram is plan coordinator for the fishery management council in Anchorage.

The recommendations are then reviewed and acted on by the council.

The increase allows a 16,000 ton, or 35-million-pound, harvest in Alaska waters.

About 835 people have permits to harvest Alaska sablefish. Around half of them are in Southeast

Numbers are expected to drop in 2012.

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