The Groundfish Forum was formed in 1996 to find collective ways to lower crab bycatch in the Eastern Bering Sea flatfish fisheries. Since then, Groundfish Forum has evolved to become an internationally recognized leader in developing science based collaborative innovations and solutions for bycatch management and habitat protections in the non-pelagic trawl fisheries of the North Pacific, as well as being a trade association for the participants of these fisheries. In 2008, these efforts culminated in the North Pacific Fishery Management Council adopting the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Plan Amendment 80 (A80) which allocated trawl groundfish among fishery sectors and allowed the formation of harvesting cooperatives by catcher/processors involved in these fisheries. The A80 fisheries include Atka mackerel, Aleutian Islands Pacific Ocean perch, yellowfin sole, flathead sole, rock sole and Pacific cod.
Groundfish Forum’s mission is to ensure the long-term viability of A80 fisheries while promoting sustainable harvests on safe vessels, providing economic prosperity to the maritime communities in which we operate, minimizing fishery impacts on habitat, and reducing bycatch.