Commercial Fisheries Overview
Bering Sea & Aleutian Islands Management Area
The Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Area includes all waters of the Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea west of the longitude of Scotch Cap light and north of the Alaska Peninsula, including waters of the US Exclusive Economic Zone extending to the US – Russia maritime boundary and into the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. These waters encompass king crab Registration Areas O, T, and Q and the Bering Sea, Eastern Aleutian, and Western Aleutian Districts of Tanner crab Registration Area J. The Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Area supports some of the largest and most valuable commercial fisheries in the United States including the Bristol Bay red king crab fishery, Bering Sea snow crab fishery, and Bering Sea walleye pollock fishery. Important fisheries are conducted for golden king crab, Tanner crab, weathervane scallops, Dungeness crab, Pacific cod, several species of flatfish, sablefish, Pacific salmon, and Pacific herring. Many of these fisheries occur within both waters of Alaska and the US Exclusive Economic Zone and are regulated through a complex structure of interrelated state and federal management plans. Finfish and shellfish stocks in this area provide year-round commercial fishing opportunity for all size classes of vessels and sustain important subsistence harvests for local residents. While the geography of the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Area includes waters of Bristol Bay, the Yukon and Kuskokwim Deltas, and Norton Sound, salmon and herring fisheries occurring in those areas are managed from the Central and Arctic – Yukon - Kuskokwim regions. Major fish processing operations are located in Dutch Harbor, Saint Paul, and Akutan.