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Overview of Bering Sea Herring Migration, Stock Status, and Commercial Fisheries

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Abstract

This compilation of reports was prepared as a source of information to be used by the Alaska Board of Fisheries during their October 1991 review of proposed modifications to the management of Bering Sea herring fisheries. This report is a synthesis and summary of detailed information that is available in other publications of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and from other sources. This report is divided into two sections. The first section summarizes the currently available information on stock identification and migration patterns of herring in the Bering Sea. The information in this section was first presented to the Board of Fisheries during their March 1991 discussions of the management of the Dutch Hh food and bait herring fishery. An appendix to this first section contains an updated figure which estimates the potential impact of the 1992 Dutch Harbor food and bait fishery on the Nelson Island herring stock. The second section of this report provides a current summary of Bering Sea herring stock status, commercial fisheries, and trawl bycatch impacts.
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... In the late 1980s and early 1990s, several of the western Alaska stocks were in decline, notably those spawning at Nelson Island. Funk et al. (1991) describe the limited information available on stock composi tion of the Dutch Harbor food/bait fishery. Based upon presumed migratory routes, timing of fisheries, some scale-pattern analyses, and respective biomasses of western Alaska stocks, they estimated that the Nelson Island stock may contribute approximately 2-3% of * the Dutch Harbor harvest. ...
... The Nelson Island stock can poten tially fluctuate widely between years (Hamner and Kerkvliet 1994), more than the 12% decline noted be tween 1990 and 1991. Moreover, the contribution of Nelson Island herring to the Dutch Harbor catch might conceivably be higher than estimated by Funk et al. (1991). By changing population decline to q = -0.50 ...
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1 The Regional Information Report Series was established in 1987 to provide an information access system for all unpublished division reports. These reports frequently serve diverse ad hoc informational purposes or archive basic uninterpreted data. To accommodate timely reporting of recently collected information, reports in this series undergo only limited internal review and may contain preliminary data; this information may be subsequently finalized and published in the formal literature. Consequently, these reports should not be cited without prior approval of the author or the Division of Commercial Fisheries.
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