Story last updated at 12/16/2009 - 11:52 am
ANCHORAGE - The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has set the 2010 catch limit for Alaska pollock at 813,000 metric tons - the lowest amount in 32 years, according to one conservation group.
The decision Saturday was an acknowledgement that stocks of Bering Sea pollock in the nation's largest commercial fishery are in rough shape. The 813,000-ton limit was recommended by fisheries scientists. It was down slightly from last year's limit.
Dave Benton, executive director of the Marine Conservation Alliance, a coalition that includes fishermen and processors, said the industry supports the limit because it's what scientists believe is necessary to improve the fishery.
Another conservation group, Oceana, said that although the limit was the lowest in decades, it should have been even lower to help restore the pollock, which are an important food source for salmon and Stellar sea lions.