Biological Characteristics and Fishery Assessment of Alaska Plaice, Pleuronectes quadrituberculatus, in the Eastern Bering Sea

Zhang, Chang Ik and Wilderbuer, Thomas K. and Walters, Gary E. (1998) Biological Characteristics and Fishery Assessment of Alaska Plaice, Pleuronectes quadrituberculatus, in the Eastern Bering Sea. Marine Fisheries Review, 60(4), pp. 16-27.

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Abstract

Alaska plaice, Pleuronectes quadrituberculatus, is one of the major flatfishes in the eastern Bering Sea ecosystem and is most highly concentrated in the shallow continental shelf of the eastern Bering Sea. Annual commercial catches have ranged from less than 1,000 metric tons (t) in 1963 to 62,000 t in 1988. Alaska plaice is a relatively large flatfish averaging about 32 cm in length and 390 g in weight in commercial catches. They are distributed from nearshore waters to a depth of about 100 m in the eastern Bering Sea during summer, but move to deeper continental shelf waters in winter to escape sea ice and cold water temperatures. Being a long-lived species (>30 years), they have a relatively low natural mortality rate estimated at 0.20. Maturing at about age 7, Alaska plaice spawn from April through June on hard sandy substrates of the shelf region, primarily around the 100 m isobath. Prey items primarily include polychaetes and other marine worms. In comparison with other flatfish, Alaska plaice and rock sole, Pleuronectes bilineatus, have similar diets but different habitat preferences with separate areas of peak population density which may minimize interspecific competition. Yellowfin sole, Pleuronectes asper, while sharing similar habitat, differs from these two species because of the variety of prey items in its diet. Competition for food resources among the three species appears to be low. The resource has experienced light exploitation since 1963 and is currently in good condition. Based on the results of demersal trawl surveys and age-structured analyses, the exploitable biomass increased from 1971 through the mid-1980’s before decreasing to the 1997 level of 500,000 t. The recommended 1998 harvest level, Allowable Biological Catch, was calculated from the Baranov catch equation based on the FMSY harvest level and the projected 1997 biomass, resulting in a commercial harvest of 69,000 t, or about 16% of the estimated exploitable biomass.

Item Type: Article
Title: Biological Characteristics and Fishery Assessment of Alaska Plaice, Pleuronectes quadrituberculatus, in the Eastern Bering Sea
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Zhang, Chang Ik
Wilderbuer, Thomas K.
Walters, Gary E.
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Fisheries Review
Volume: 60
Number: 4
Page Range: pp. 16-27
Date: 1998
ISSN: 0090-1830
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Biology
Ecology
Fisheries
Management
Item ID: 9799
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2012 20:08
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2012 20:08
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/9799

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