The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and ADF&G conduct assessment surveys on sablefish in Alaskan waters. The NMFS conducts an annual longline survey and a triennial trawl survey in the Gulf of Alaska, and ADF&G performs annual longline surveys in Chatham and Clarence Strait. These surveys provide estimates of catch per unit effort, relative abundance, and biological data. In addition, tagging studies exist to study sablefish movement for federal, state, and Canadian waters. The ADF&G conducts an annual tagging survey in Chatham Strait as part of a mark-recapture study to estimate population abundance.
Further investigations into the migration of sablefish are being conducted in Alaska. The NMFS is working on a migration model that includes both federal and state waters. In addition, the ADF&G is conducting pilot studies to determine the feasibility of acoustic tagging of sablefish in Chatham Strait.
In addition, research is being conducted on sperm whale interactions with the sablefish longline fisheries. Researchers are determining ways to reduce or eliminate whale interactions and how to quantify whale depredation rates.