NOAA declares bocaccio fishery as rebuilt

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA — West Coast species of bocaccio and darkblatched groundfish were declared as rebuilt, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Both species, NOAA’s West Coast Region office confirmed June 19, were rebuilt ahead of schedule.

NOAA declared bocaccio as an overfished species in 1999. The federal agency hoped the species would be rebuilt by 2022, but conservation efforts apparently helped NOAA reach its goal five years earlier.

“The combination of sound science and well-designed management policies were very effective in turning things around, but it also involved many challenging years for the fishing fleet in adapting to lower harvest levels,” Barry Thom, regional administrator of NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Region, said in a published statement.

Lingcod, canary rockfish, cowcod, Pacific Ocean perch, widow rockfish and yelloweye rockfish were among the other fisheries with rebuilding plans.

“Rebuilding plans remain in place for the three remaining overfished species: cowcod, Pacific Ocean perch, and yelloweye rockfish,” NOAA staff stated. “All three are on track with their plans, with cowcod estimated to be rebuilt by 2020, Pacific Ocean perch by 2051, and yelloweye rockfish by 2074.”

Mary Nishimoto photo

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