A US-based association representing major fishing companies targeting the Alaska flatfish resource has cut the size of its fishing fleet following the implementation of a new halibut bycatch rule in January.

The Groundfish Forum trade association represents five member companies -- Fishermen's Finest, Northstar Fishing, Ocean Peace Inc., O'Hara Corporation, and United States Seafood -- that operate 17 trawl vessels that harvest and process a variety of Alaska groundfish species such as Pacific ocean perch and rock sole in the federally managed Amendment 80 fisheries off the coast of Alaska.