Arrowtooth flounder (Atheresthes stomias) is a relatively large flatfish and one of the most abundant fish in the Gulf of Alaska. It plays an important role in Alaska’s complex marine food chain. It feeds extensively on the commercially important walleye pollock and in turn is an important part of the diet of Steller sea lions. In Alaska, NOAA Fisheries scientists and the flatfish fishing industry collaborated to develop changes to fishing gear that would reduce effects of flatfish trawling on seafloor habitats of the central Gulf of Alaska and the eastern Bering Sea shelf. The modified gear they developed –Bering Sea flatfish gear– not only reduced impacts to seafloor habitat and the animals living there but also reduced the fishery’s impacts on crabs. In the central Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea areas, flatfish fishermen are now required to use this modified fishing gear.
Dusky rockfish (Sebastes variabilis) have one of the most northerly distributions of all rockfish species in the Pacific. They range from southern British Columbia north to the Bering Sea and west to Japan, but are abundant only in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA).