Warming ocean waters have raised the metabolism of small Pacific cod, so that their appetites increase, but their prey is less available due to changing oceans. The result has been a lower survival rate of the Pacific cod into the adult stage.
Pacific cod stocks in the Gulf of Alaska have declined so dramatically that the council’s decision to shut down that fishery in the Gulf in 2020 came as no surprise.
When the biomass of Pacific cod falls below 20 percent of the long-term biomass of the Gulf of Alaska, the federal fishery must be closed to comply with Steller sea lion protection measures.
In the Bering Sea the NPFMC cut the Pacific cod TAC from 14,214 metric tons in 2019 to 13,796 MT for 2020. An error in the Dec. 11 online briefs incorrectly stated that the TAC was cut from 24,319,000 MT to 22,000 MT. Our apologies for the error.