The Council reviewed the 2020 Alaska Weathervane Scallop SAFE report and specified scallop ABC for the 2020/2021 fishing year at 1.156 million pounds (524 t)of shucked scallop meats, a level equivalent to 90% of OFL, which is 1.284 million pounds (582 t). The federal specification of scallop OFL and ABC applies to all waters off Alaska, while guideline harvest levels (GHLs) for the State’s scallop registration areas and districts are established by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
According to the Scallop SAFE, total harvest off Alaska in the 2018/19 season was 238,973 lb (108 t) of shucked scallop meats, and preliminary harvest for the 2019/20 season is 224,765 lb (102 t). Guideline harvest levels were achieved in most of the State’s scallop management districts within the Yakutat, Kodiak, and Bering Sea registration areas. Some scallop beds with low productivity were abandoned by the fleet and these included the Alaska Peninsula registration area, and the Kodiak Southeast and Dutch Harbor districts.
Scallop harvest has been fairly stable in recent years, however, revenue of less than $2.6 million in the most recent season is lowest historically. Port landings of scallops are limited to Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, Yakutat, and Homer.
Fishery CPUE has been trending up in the productive beds since 2015 especially in the Yakutat district and the Northeast, Shelikof, and Southwest Kodiak districts. The stock status of Alaska weathervane scallops is not viewed as a conservation concern since scallops are distributed in many areas that are closed to fishing. Closed areas can almost be thought of as marine refuges and potential yields from these areas are not factored into fishery performance. Staff contact is Jim Armstrong.