Geographic and seasonal variations in maturation and growth of female Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea

Issue:

Author(s): 
Stark, James W.
Cover date: 
2007
PDF: 
Pages: 
396–407
Abstract: 

This study investigates the temporal stability of length- and age-at-maturity estimates for female Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) in the Gulf of Alaska and eastern Bering Sea. Females reached 50% maturity (A50) at 4.4 years in the Gulf of Alaska and at 4.9 years in the eastern Bering Sea. Total body length at 50% maturity (LT50) was significantly smaller (503 mm) in the Gulf of Alaska than in the eastern Bering Sea (580 mm). The estimated length- and age-at-maturity did not differ significantly between winter and spring in either the Gulf of Alaska (1999) or Bering Sea (2003) areas. The results of this study raised the spawning biomass estimate of female Alaskan Pacific cod from 298×103 t for 2005 to 499×103 t for 2006. The increased spawning biomass estimate resulted in an increased over-fishing limit for Pacific cod.