Pollock, Alaska, Walleye
Method of production - Caught at sea
Capture method - Pelagic trawl
Capture area - North West Pacific (FAO 61)
Stock area - Western Bering Sea and Okhotsk Sea
Stock detail -
Certification - Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Fish type - White round fish
The U.S. managed Alaska pollock fisheries in the eastern Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands and the Gulf of Alaska fisheries were certified to the MSC Standard in 2005. In September 2013 the pollock fishery in the Russian EEZ waters of the Okhotsk Sea was certified as an environmentally responsible fishery. Pollock from fisheries certified to the MSC standard is the best choice when buying Alaska pollock.
A member of the cod family, pollock is found throughout temperate and colder waters of the North Pacific and Bering Sea and is the most abundant fish species in those areas.Pollock is a relatively fast growing and short lived species and is sexually mature at around 3-4 years. Pollock have high fecundity or potential reproductive capacity - female pollock can produce more than two million eggs over the course of several weeks. It spawns in early spring from February to April and they can grow to about 90cm and attain ages of 15-17 years. A more typical age is 5-6. Found in depths down to 900m the species is also known as walleye pollock because of its large, distinctive eyes.
Western Bering Sea and Okhotsk Sea
Pollock, including fisheries managed in Russian and U.S. waters, is both the largest food fish resource and largest whitefish fishery in the world. Together the Barents Sea cod fishery and the Russian Far East (Western Bering Sea and Sea of Okhotsk) pollock fishery account for between 20 and 25% of the global catch of whitefish. More than three million tons of Alaska pollock are caught each year in the north Pacific from Alaska to northern Japan. Pollock in Russia's sector of the Bering Sea seem to be healthy, however the data is inconsistent and catches have been declining significantly over the past decade.
Alaska pollock are also found in international waters where no country has sole jurisdiction. The Convention on the Conservation and Management of Pollock Resources in the Central Bering Sea is responsible for the conservation, management, and best use of pollock resource in the high seas of the Bering Sea. Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is a concern in the western Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, where landings of illegal fish are thought to be high. IUU fisheries have serious consequences for Arctic ecosystems.
The western Bering Sea and Okhotsk Sea fishery is a trawl and seine fishery. Bycatch in general is thought to be low, as are impacts on the seabed. However, the effect of bycatch and cascade ecosystem impacts on Steller sea lions is unknown here. This is an issue that is being dealt with in the eastern Bering Sea fishery under U.S. management where the species is protected under the Endangered Species Act, however no assumption can be made in Russian waters due to lack of evidence and legal protections affored under U.S. law.
Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below . Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.
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