MCS Home

FishOnline

return to search Return to search results

 

Click to enlarge

Alaska pollock, Walleye pollock

Theragra chalcogramma

Method of production - Caught at sea
Capture method - Purse seine
Capture area - North West Pacific (FAO 61)
Stock area - Western Bering Sea and Okhotsk Sea
Stock detail -
Accreditation -
Fish type - White round fish

Sustainability rating Click for explaination of rating

This fish, caught by the methods and in the area listed above, is not the most sustainable choice of fish to eat. Click on the rating icon above to read more and on the alternatives tab below to find more sustainable fish to eat.


Sustainability overview

The U.S. managed Alaska pollock fisheries in the eastern Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands and the Gulf of Alaska fisheries were certified to the MSC Standard in 2005. In September 2013 the pollock fishery in the Russian EEZ waters of the Okhotsk Sea was certified as an environmentally responsible fishery. Pollock from fisheries certified to the MSC standard is the best choice when buying Alaska pollock.

Biology

A member of the cod family, pollock is found throughout temperate and colder waters of the North Pacific and Bering Sea and is the most abundant fish species in those areas.Pollock is a relatively fast growing and short lived species and is sexually mature at around 3-4 years. Pollock have high fecundity or potential reproductive capacity - female pollock can produce more than two million eggs over the course of several weeks. It spawns in early spring from February to April and they can grow to about 90cm and attain ages of 15-17 years. A more typical age is 5-6. Found in depths down to 900m the species is also known as walleye pollock because of its large, distinctive eyes.

Stock information

Stock area
Western Bering Sea and Okhotsk Sea

View map areas

Stock information
Pollock, including fisheries managed in Russian and U.S. waters, is both the largest food fish resource and largest whitefish fishery in the world. Together the Barents Sea cod fishery and the Russian Far East (Western Bering Sea and Sea of Okhotsk) pollock fishery account for between 20 and 25% of the global catch of whitefish. More than three million tons of Alaska pollock are caught each year in the north Pacific from Alaska to northern Japan. Pollock in Russia's sector of the Bering Sea seem to be healthy, however the data is inconsistent and catches have been declining significantly over the past decade. Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is a concern in the western Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, where landings of illegal fish are thought to be high. IUU fisheries have serious consequences for Arctic ecosystems.

Management

Capture information

The western Bering Sea and Okhotsk Sea fishery is a trawl and seine fishery. Bycatch in general is thought to be low, as are impacts on the seabed. However, the effect of bycatch and cascade ecosystem impacts on Steller sea lions is unknown here. This is an issue that is being dealt with in the eastern Bering Sea fishery under U.S. management where the species is protected under the Endangered Species Act, however no assumption can be made in Russian waters due to lack of evidence and legal protections affored under U.S. law.

Read more about capture methods

Alternatives

Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below . Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.

Alaska pollock, Walleye pollock Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Basa, Tra, Catfish or Vietnamese River Cobbler Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Bass, seabass Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Black bream or porgy or seabream

Bream, gilthead Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Cod, Atlantic Cod Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Coley, Saithe Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Haddock Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Hake, Cape

Japanese amberjack, Yellowtail or Seriola

Meagre

Pouting or Bib

Sturgeon Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Tilapia

Whiting Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Return to top Return to top

Sign up to get the latest marine information from the Marine Conservation Society

Enewsletter

Sign up to get all the latest marine related news from MCS


The UK charity for the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife.

Read more about MCS

The MCS website uses 'Cookies' to enhance your web experience. Please read our data and cookie policy.
If you do not wish to use cookies please read how to disable cookies. Don't show this message again