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Increase in Pollock Biomass in the Bering Sea

It looks like there could be a lot more Pollock in the Bering Sea than compared to last year. NOAA released a statement Wednesday noting that the preliminary survey results indicate a nearly 60-percent increase in walleye Pollock biomass. The announcement was initially made during the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Groundfish Plan Team meeting in Seattle. Fishermen and others shouldn’t anticipate that the increase in biomass will result in a significant increase in the catch limit for Pollock. That’s because of the annual 2-million metric ton cap on all groundfish species harvested in the Bering Sea. The increase in Pollock biomass was detected during a couple of survey’s this summer. Fisheries scientists with NOAA assert that the biomass detected in the bottom-trawl survey was the second highest biomass detected since the standard survey was started in 1982. The biomass detected was about 55-percent above average. The acoustic-trawl survey apparently detected significant concentrations of mid-water Pollock. This includes concentrations in the southeast portion of the eastern Bering Sea. The scientists note that such concentrations have been largely absent since 2004. The total allowable Pollock catch in the Bering Sea will be set by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council in early 2015.