Bering Sea fishermen are now trawling for one of Alaska’s most profitable catches.
Pollock "B" season opened Sunday with a total quota of 731,804 metric tons.
That's about one percent higher than last year, according to Krista Milani, a groundfish manager for the National Marine Fisheries Service.
"It's a very small difference, so I don't know that it necessarily means there's a big upward trend," she said. "But at least, it indicates that there's a healthy stock."
Milani said pollock biomass has been up in recent years, helping the species to maintain its status as the cornerstone commercial fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.
"Pollock's been one of our most sustainable fisheries in Alaska, for sure," she said. "Probably one of the most sustainable fisheries in the country."
In 2016, pollock accounted for the bulk of Dutch Harbor’s seafood landings, worth $198 million in total.
This "B" season closes Nov. 1 by regulation. Processors will use the harvest for fillets and surimi, as opposed to the "A" season's focus on pollock roe.