In 2011, fishermen catching cod in state waters around the Kodiak archipelago were limited to 14.83 million pounds. For 2012, the bar has been set at 15.69 million pounds.
The total is divided equally between jig boats and pot boats, at 7.845 million pounds each. Pot vessels longer than 58 feet are limited to half the pot quota until after Sept. 1, but the quota is typically reached before then.
State waters extend from the tidewater to three miles offshore. From the three-mile line to 200 miles offshore, federal fisheries managers control the cod quota.
The management lines blur under the “parallel” fishery, which allows fishermen to catch cod under the federal quota, even if they’re closer than three miles to shore.
That parallel fishery opens in conjunction with the federal cod season on Jan. 1. The regular state fishery opens soon after the federal fishery concludes. Pot vessels are permitted to start their season seven days after the federal season ends; jig boats can start 48 hours after it ends.
The season’s start varies from year to year, since it depends on how quickly fishermen reach the federal limit. In 2011, the state fishery opened on Feb. 5 and pot vessels reached their limit Feb. 18. Jig boats did not hit their limit until April 14.
In 2010, the fishery opened Feb. 7 with a quota of 13.51 million pounds. It closed for pot boats Feb. 23 and for jig boats June 5.
Pacific cod represents the second-biggest groundfish fishery for Kodiak fishermen and harvesters, behind only pollock. According to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, more than 50 percent of Alaska’s Pacific cod ended up in just three countries: China, Japan and South Korea.
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