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Fishery council approves 1.3 million metric ton pollock allowable catch

Berett Wilber
The world’s most widely eaten fish shows no signs of disappearing from fish sticks and McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwiches anytime soon.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council last Sunday approved a total allowable catch for the 2023-24 Eastern Bering Sea pollock fishery of 1.3 million metric tons.

That's up about 17% from 2022, when it was set at 1.11 million, but it's lower than other recent years.

The allowable catch in the Aleutian Islands pollock fishery is 19,000 metric tons, the same as 2022-23.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration touts the Alaska pollock fishery as “a model of sustainability.” But it’s also come under fire from some conservation groups, and a 2021 study linked the fishery to the decline of Northern fur seals.

The council’s recommendation must be approved by the U.S. Commerce Department, which the department is nearly certain to do.

Theo Greenly reports from the Aleutians as a Report for America corps member. He got his start in public radio at KCRW in Santa Monica, California, and has produced radio stories and podcasts for stations around the country.