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- Targeting Abundant Fish Stocks while Avoiding Overfished Species: Video and Fishing Surveys to Inform Management after Long-Term Fishery Closures
- Historically, it has been difficult to balance conservation goals and yield objectives when managing multispecies fisheries that include stocks with various vulnerabilities to fishing. As managers try to maximize yield in mixed-stock fisheries, exploitation rates can lead to less productive stocks becoming overfished. In the late 1990s, population declines of several U.S. West Coast groundfish species caused the U.S. Pacific Fishery Management Council to create coast-wide fishery closures, known as Rockfish Conservation Areas, to rebuild overfished species. The fishery closures and other management measures successfully reduced fishing mortality of these species, but constrained fishing opportunities on abundant stocks. Restrictive regulations also caused the unintended consequence of reducing fishery-dependent data available to assess population status of fished species. As stocks rebuild, managers are faced with the challenge of increasing fishing opportunities while minimizing fishing mortality on rebuilding species. We designed a camera system to evaluate fishes in coastal habitats and used experimental gear and fishing techniques paired with video surveys to determine if abundant species could be caught in rocky habitats with minimal catches of co-occurring rebuilding species. We fished a total of 58 days and completed 741 sets with vertical hook-and-line fishing gear. We also conducted 299 video surveys in the same locations where fishing occurred. Comparison of fishing and stereo-video surveys indicated that fishermen could fish with modified hook-and-line gear to catch abundant species while limiting bycatch of rebuilding species. As populations of overfished species continue to recover along the U.S. West Coast, it is important to improve data collection, and video and fishing surveys may be key to assessing species that occur in rocky habitats.
- Starr, Gleason, Marks, Kline, Rienecke, Denney, Tagini, Field
- Age determination and validation studies of marine fishes,
- Age determination and validation studies on deep-water marine fishes indicate they are difficult to age and often long-lived. Techniques for the determination of age in individual fish includes growth-zone analysis of vertebral centra, fin rays and spines, other skeletal structures, and otoliths (there are three sets of otoliths in most bony fish semicircular canals, each of which is made of calcium carbonate). Most have regular increments deposited as the fish (and its semicircular canals) grows. The most commonly used otolith for age determination is the largest one called the sagitta. Age validation techniques include: (1) tag-recapture, often combined with oxytetracycline injection and analysis in growth-zones of bone upon recapture; (2) analysis of growth-zones over time; and (3) radiometric approaches utilizing a known radioactive decay series as an independent chronometer in otoliths from bony fishes. We briefly summarize previous studies using these three validation approaches and present results from several of our radiometric studies on deep-water, bony fishes recently subjected to expanding fisheries. Radiometric age validation results are presented for four species of scorpaenid fishes (the bank, Sebastes rufus, and bocaccio, S. paucispinis, rockfishes, and two thornyhead species, Sebastolobus altivelis and S. alascanus). In addition, our analysis of scorpaenids indicates that longevity increases exponentially with maximum depth of occurrence. The reason that the deep-water forms of scorpaenid fishes are long-lived is uncertain. Their longevity, however, may be related to altered physiological processes relative to environmental parameters like low temperature, high pressures, low light levels, low oxygen, and poor food resources. Copyright © 2001 Elsevier Science Inc., Cited By (since 1996):102, Fish and Fisheries, CODEN: EXGEA, ,
- Cailliet, Andrews, Burton, Watters, Kline, Ferry-Graham