Certifier : 
MRAG Americas, Inc.
Certified status : 
Certified
Certified since : 
25 Jan 2010
Certificate expires : 
17 Jun 2020

About

Pacific cod in the Gulf of Alaska are fast-growing fish and reach an average length of 19cm in their first year. Aged 12 years they can exceed 90cm. The stocks are generally exploited from age three onwards.

Pacific cod is distributed widely across the eastern Bering Sea as well as in the Aleutian Islands. The populations in these two areas are managed as a single unit.

The 39 vessels operating in the fishery range from small boats working near the shore to large catcher-processors. They use a variety of methods:

Trawl: Usually large vessels, including catcher-processors up to 90m long. The gear used includes many types of bottom trawls. The net openings are typically around 1 to 5 fathoms (2-10m) high. The mesh gets smaller towards the cod-end (where the fish are retained), with a typical mesh of around 13-20cm.

Longline: Includes small to medium vessels (less than 75-foot/22m) catcher vessels and catcher-processors (also known as freezer-longliners) up to 60m long. These use stationary lines with baited hooks.

Pot: Cod are also caught in modified crab pots, of around 2m2. Pots must meet a number of criteria to ensure they only catch fish of a suitable size.

Jig: Usually small (less than 60-foot/18m) catcher vessels which generally fish within state waters. Fishers use vertical lines with baited hooks. 

Pacific Cod (Gadus macrocephalus) illustration © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book