Landings of pollock in the management unit 4VWX5Zc were 9795 t in 1995, considerably less than the TAC of 14,500 t. Most gear sectors were unable to catch their allocations. However, reports from the fishery almost unanimously indicate that pollock have increased in abundance in the western half of the management unit over the past several years. Fishermen note that shortfalls against quota reflect market and fishing strategies (such as "banking" pollock to allow continued fishing on cod and haddock), not a lack of abundance. However, reports from the eastern half of the management unit have not yet indicated any recovery of the resource.
The stock status evaluation was based on an analytical assessment employing landings statistics, sampling for size and age composition of the commercial catch and trends in commercial fishery catch rate. If the TAC of 10,000 t is taken in 1996, the resulting fully recruited fishing mortality will be about 0.14. The beginning of year age 5+ biomass will increase from 70582 t in 1996 to 73601 t in 1997. The F0.1 catch in 1997 is 22,159 t, with about 33% contributed by the 1989 year-class. Some of the more important sources of the uncertainty include the large management unit, the small catch weight accounted for by the TC5 catch rate index in recent years, and the schooling semi-pelagic nature of the resource which makes traditional approaches to groundfish stock assessment difficult.
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