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 one year. By 12 years they may exceed 89cm. The stocks are generally exploited from age 3 onwards.

Good management and risk-averse harvest levels have ensured that stocks in the Gulf of Alaska, the eastern Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands are not being overfished. Vessels targeting cod in the Gulf of Alaska use a number 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 catcher vessels (less than 75-foot/22m) 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 2m square. 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) image © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book