North Pacific Council Sets 2011 Groundfish Catch Limits Pollock and Pacific Cod Limits Increase as Fish Populations Climb

“Our precautionary approach to fishery management continues to provide sustainable seafood to millions,” said MCA President Frank Kelty.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (“NPFMC”) has unanimously approved its recommendations for the 2011 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (“BSAI”) groundfish total allowable catch (TAC) limits.  For 2011, the pollock and pacific cod catch limits are both up significantly, reflecting strong growth in those fish populations.

The Council annually establishes catch limits for nearly a dozen species that make up the productive BSAI ecosystem.  For 2011, the catch limits for two of the major species in the Bering Sea have been increased significantly.  The pollock catch limit has increased by 54% over 2010, and the pacific cod catch limit has been increased by 35%.

“The Marine Conservation Alliance fully supports the Council’s recommendations,” said President Frank Kelty.  “For more than 30 years, strict annual catch limits for the federal fisheries off the coast of Alaska have protected our clear, pristine waters and abundant ecosystem, which continues to feed tens of millions of people throughout the world.”

The groundfish catch limits are established annually, based on advice from scientists from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (NOAA), the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and other agencies and universities; as well as the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee and Advisory Panel, and public testimony.

Additional details of the Council’s decision on quotas are:

Species Area 2010 TAC

2011 TAC

Pollock EBS 813,000 1,252,000
AI 19,000 19,000
Bogoslof 50 150
Pacific Cod BSAI 168,780 227,950
Sablefish BS 2,790 2,850
AI 2,070 1,900
Yellowfin Sole BSAI 219,000 196,000
Greenland Turbot BS 4,220 3,500
AI 1,900 1,550
Arrowtooth Flounder BSAI 75,000 25,900
Kamchatka Flounder BSAI NA 17,700
Northern Rock Sole BSAI 90,000 85,000
Flathead Sole BSAI 60,000 41,548
Alaska Plaice BSAI 50,000 16,000
Other Flatfish BSAI 17,300 3,000
Pacific Ocean Perch BSAI 18,860 24,700
Northern Rockfish BSAI 7,240 4,000
Rougheye BSAI 547 454
Shortraker Rockfish BSAI 387 393
Other Rockfish BSAI 1,040 1,000
Atka Mackerel EAI/BS 23,800 40,300
CAI 29,600 11,280
WAI 20,600 1,500
Squid BSAI 1,970 425
Other Species BSAI 50,000 NA
Skate BSAI NA 16,500
Shark BSAI NA 50
Octopus BSAI NA 150
Sculpin BSAI NA 5,200


1,677,154 2,000,000

The  catcher vessel AURIGA sits dockside in Dutch Harbor awaiting its next  pollock trip.  Photo courtesy of Mary McDowell, Pacific Seafood  Processors Association.


  • Frank Kelty, President, MCA, (907) 523-0731
  • Dave Witherell, NPFMC Deputy Director, (907) 271-2809
  • Jim Ianelli, pollock stock assessment biologist NMFS, (206) 526-6510
  • Pat Livingston, Chair NPFMC Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) (206) 526-4172

Dr. Doug DeMaster, Science and Research Director, Alaska Fishery Science Center, (206) 526-4047

More information on the Marine Conservation Alliance and the SeaAlliance campaign is available at:


The Juneau-based Marine Conservation Alliance is a coalition of seafood processors, harvesters, support industries and coastal communities that are active in Alaska fisheries.  The MCA represents approximately 75 percent of the participants in Alaska shellfish and groundfish fisheries and promotes science based conservation measures to ensure sustainable fisheries in Alaska.  For more information, click on