Sustainably Harvesting Alaska’s Groundfish
for the Country and the World
Groundfish Forum is a fishery trade association representing five member companies operating 19 trawl vessels that catch and process a variety of Alaskan groundfish species in the federally managed Amendment 80 (A80) fisheries off the coast of Alaska. Our vessels are the largest producers of flatfish and rockfish in the United States, sustainably producing hundreds of millions of meals for consumers across the globe.
Our fleet sustainability harvests yellowfin sole, rock sole, flathead sole, and also Atka mackerel, Pacific Ocean perch, and Pacific cod from the cold and pristine waters of the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, and Gulf of Alaska. All fish are processed and frozen at sea onboard our boats to ensure superior quality.
Committed to Sustainability
The Amendment 80 fisheries are recognized as among the best-managed fisheries in the world. Management of our fisheries is conducted in an open, public, and transparent process through the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. All our fisheries meet the highest standards of the sustainability and accountability and are certified by both the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the State of Alaska’s Responsible Fishery Management Program (RFM).
Fueling the Economy
Groundfish Forum member companies employ over 2,225 crew members with wages totaling $113 million and our operations support another 1,700 jobs in Washington state and 2,800 year-round jobs in Alaska coastal communities. Our harvest has a first wholesale value of $398 million and contributes hundreds of millions in expenditures and taxes to the states of Washington and Alaska.
Groundfish Forum is recognized as an international leader in developing and implementing scientifically sound engineering solutions to reduce impacts of trawl gear and to conserve important fishery habitats. NOAA scientists evaluating the effects of fishing on fish habitat have concluded that modifications to flatfish trawl gear have reduced seafloor contact by as much as 90% and effects of trawling and other fishing on the seafloor in federal waters off Alaska are temporary, supporting healty and productive marine ecosystems.
Our fleet has an ongoing commitment to reducing bycatch, as we have reduced our bycatch of halibut by 49% since 2007. Groundfish Forum members have worked closely with NOAA Fisheries for over a decade to pioneer modern fishing techniques and innovative practices to reduce bycatch, including deck sorting to minimze halibut mortality. Today, only 0.4% of the catch is Pacific halibut bycatch.