Discard mortality for the giant Pacific octopus, Enteroctopus dofleini, in the Gulf of Alaska
The octopus assemblage in the Gulf of Alaska is comprised of at least seven species but commercial catches within this region are dominated by the giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini). Octopus have recently been removed from the ‘other species’ group of groundfish by the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council (NPFMC) and annual catch limits (ACLs) have been established for this assemblage for 2011 and 2012. Preliminary assessments prepared in 2008-2009 highlighted the general lack of information available on octopus in Alaskan waters, and demonstrated that routine bottom trawl surveys are not the best tools for assessing biomass or distribution of octopus. Due to this lack of data octopus catch limits were set based on historical incidental catch rates and it is likely these values are overly conservative. This issue is further exacerbated by the fact that catch accounting for octopus uses the conservative assumption of 100% mortality for all octopus caught whether retained or discarded. The majority of octopus bycatch occurs in Pacific cod pot fisheries and recent data collected by North Pacific Groundfish Observers indicate that immediate mortality of octopus caught in these fisheries is very small. The objectives of this project are to examine the delayed mortality of E. dofleini captured in Pacific cod pot fisheries. These data are necessary to make sound management decisions for octopus based on appropriate scientific information. This research will help ensure that octopus catch limits do not unnecessarily constrain other commercial fisheries.
Data and Resources
Report :: Project Summary
Website :: NPRB Project Summary
Discard mortality for the giant Pacific octopus, Enteroctopus dofleini, in the Gulf of Alaska was updated over 2 years ago
Status was changed to Complete