Use of Observer Data in Management of the Grooved Tanner Crab (Chionoecetes tanneri) Fishery off Alaska

Use of Observer Data in Management of the Grooved Tanner Crab (Chionoecetes tanneri) Fishery off Alaska

Douglas Pengilly, Ivan Vining, and David Barnard

Use of Observer Data in Management of the Grooved Tanner Crab (Chionoecetes tanneri) Fishery off AlaskaThis is part of Fisheries Assessment and Management in Data-Limited Situations
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Description

The commercial fishery for grooved Tanner crab, Chionoecetes tanneri, in deep (typically more than 600 m) waters off Alaska developed rapidly from the late 1980s to its peak in 1995, when 1,300 t valued at $4.4 million were harvested from the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, and Gulf of Alaska. Development of management measures for this fishery has been hampered by lack of stock assessment surveys, resulting in a lack of annual stock abundance estimates, and scant information on life history and productivity parameters. Coupled with this poor information, there were conservation concerns related to the potential for localized depletion and high bycatch mortality. Due to the infeasibility of stock assessment surveys, observer coverage on vessels was used to gain information on the distribution of fishery catch and effort and on the life history of the species. We summarize the history of the C. tanneri fishery in Alaska, the uses of observer data to address information needs, and the management measures developed to address conservation concerns for a commercial fishery on these unsurveyed stocks in the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, and Gulf of Alaska.

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