Survey Assessment of Semi-pelagic Gadoids: The Example of Walleye Pollock, Theragra chalcogramma, in the Eastern Bering Sea

Karp, William A. and Walters , Gary E. (1994) Survey Assessment of Semi-pelagic Gadoids: The Example of Walleye Pollock, Theragra chalcogramma, in the Eastern Bering Sea. Marine Fisheries Review, 56(1), pp. 8-22.

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Official URL: http://spo.nmfs.noaa.gov/mfr561/mfr5612.pdf

Abstract

Assessment of walleye pollock, Theragra chalcogramma, in the eastern Bering Sea is complicated because the species is semi-pelagic in habit. Annual bottom trawl surveys provide estimates of demersal abundance on the eastern Bering Sea shelf. Every third year (starting in 1979), an extended area of the shelf and slope is surveyed and an echo integration-midwater trawl survey provides estimates of pollock abundance in midwater. Overall age-specific population and biomass estimates are obtained by summing the demersal and midwater results, assuming that the bottom trawl samples only pollock inhabiting the lower 3 m of the water column. Total population estimates have ranged from 134 x 109 fish in 1979 to 27 x 109 fish in 1988. The very high abundance observed in 1979 reflects the appearance of the unusually large 1978 year class. Changes in age-specific abundance estimates have documented the passage of strong (1978, 1982, and 1984) and weak year classes through the fishery. In general, older fish are more demersally oriented and younger fish are more abundant in midwater, but this trend was not always evident in the patterns of abundance of 1- and 2-year-old fish. As the average age of the population has increased, so has the relative proportion of pollock estimated by the demersal surveys. Consequently, it is unlikely that either technique can be used independently to monitor changes in abundance and age composition. Midwater assessment depends on pelagic trawl samples for size and age composition estimates, so both surveys are subject to biases resulting from gear performance and interactions between fish and gear. In this review, we discuss survey methodology and evaluate assumptions regarding catchability and availability as they relate to demersal, midwater, and overall assessment.

Item Type: Article
Title: Survey Assessment of Semi-pelagic Gadoids: The Example of Walleye Pollock, Theragra chalcogramma, in the Eastern Bering Sea
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Karp, William A.
Walters , Gary E.
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Fisheries Review
Volume: 56
Number: 1
Page Range: pp. 8-22
Date: 1994
ISSN: 0090-1830
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Biology
Fisheries
Management
Item ID: 9856
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2012 15:43
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2012 15:43
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/9856

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