Jig gear banned from direct fishing in western Gulf

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) last week announced a ban through Dec. 31 on directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using jig gear in the western Gulf of Alaska, to prevent exceeding the 2023 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific cod. 

NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the Gulf’s exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. 

The 2023 Pacific cod TAC for jig gear in the western Gulf is 131 metric tons, as established by the final 2023 and 2024 harvest specifications for groundfish in the Gulf. 

The office of the regional administrator determined that the 2023 Pacific cod TAC apportioned to the jig vessels would soon be reached, prompting the new restriction.   

The order was issued by Jennifer M. Wallace, acting director of the NMFS Office of Sustainable Fisheries.