This is the official announcement. Note they are cutting the commercial directed fishery but as Joel pointed out that does not include the bycatch which they suggest they will monitor... There has been a problem they have been documenting for a quarter-century and they admit they have only considered themselves "conservative" in management for the last ten years and somehow they should still continue to exploit a fishery like this?!?!
Elvis Costello once said he used to be angry, but now he is merely amused...
2020 DEMERSAL SHELF ROCKFISH AND YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH FISHERIES
Sitka. . . The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) announced the following information concerning the
commercial directed Demersal Shelf Rockfish (DSR) and personal use yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus) bottomfish
fisheries in Southeast Alaska.
The directed DSR commercial fisheries in the Southeast Outside Subdistrict (SEO), Northern Southeast Inside
Subdistrict (NSEI), and Southern Southeast Inside Subdistrict (SSEI) will be closed for the 2020 season and will
remain closed to directed DSR fishing until further notice. The SEO area includes the East Yakutat (EYKT), Northern
Southeast Outside (NSEO), Central Southeast Outside (CSEO), and Southern Southeast Outside (SSEO) Sections.
The personal use bottomfish fishery in the Sitka and Ketchikan vicinities as defined per 5 AAC 77.674. (A) and (B)
will be closed for nonretention of yelloweye rockfish for the 2020 season and will remain closed until further notice.
Personal use fishermen are encouraged to utilize rockfish deepwater release devices to decrease release mortality of
yelloweye rockfish while bottomfish fishing for other species.
More information on rockfish conservation and deepwater release devices can be found on the ADF&G website at:https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingSportFishingInfo.rockfishconservation
Biomass has declined approximately 60% since assessments began in 1994 for yelloweye rockfish in the Eastern Gulf of
Alaska, despite conservative management over the last decade. In addition to the decline in biomass, annual trends in
biological data (length, weight, and age by sex) reveal truncation of age classes, thus reducing reproductive potential and
increasing uncertainty for future recruitment of juveniles. The yelloweye rockfish component comprises over 95% of the
DSR commercial harvest and is the primary target compared to the six other DSR species (quillback, copper, rosethorn,
canary, China, and tiger rockfish). DSR are particularly vulnerable to overexploitation and are slow to recover once fished
below sustainable levels given their longevity, slow growth, late maturation, and high site-fidelity, with yelloweye rockfish
reaching an estimated maximum age of 122 years and maturing at 18–22 years.These concerns warrant further management action to allow for rebuilding of DSR stocks and to ensure sustainable rockfish
fisheries in the future. Further restrictions in other fisheries will be considered to reduce DSR bycatch.
Stock health will
continue to be assessed annually through stock assessment surveys and biological sampling of yelloweye bycatch retained
in commercial groundfish and halibut fisheries, as mandated under full-retention requirements (5 AAC 28.171).
Annette Islands Reserve
Fishermen are reminded the Annette Islands Reserve is a federally recognized Indian reservation in Alaska. The waters
within 3,000 feet of Annette Island, Ham Island, Hemlock Island, Spire Island, Walker Island, Lewis Island, and adjacent
rocks and islets are designated within the fishing reserve. Fisheries within the reserve are managed by the Metlakatla Indian
Community for authorized fisheries participants.
DSR Directed Fishery page 2 of 2 December 31, 2019
Metlakatla residents are also reminded that waters