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COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Bocaccio in Canada

Limiting Factors and Threats

It is likely that the bocaccio population in B.C. is at least somewhat continuous with the population in Washington. Therefore it can be assumed that U.S. harvests have an impact on the population of bocaccio of B.C. In response to the apparent decline in abundance in U.S. waters, U.S. harvests are severely restricted. The Optimum Recommended Yield (OY) for 2001 for central and southern California is 100 t. For the combined northern section of the U.S. coast, the recommended OY is 3137 t for a rockfish aggregate that includes all the less important commercial rockfish species. This includes predicted recreational catch and discards in the commercial fishery (Pacific Fishery Management Council). Commercial catches are constrained by monthly trip limits. For example, in the southern region, bocaccio monthly trip limits are 200-500 lbs/month depending on month and gear type. Note that the prevailing restrictions (and low abundance) have limited trawl landings in northern Washington State to 2 t in 2000 (Table 3). However, discards are not reported.

The B.C. bocaccio population may also be continuous with the population in southeastern Alaska. However, the trawl prohibition for these waters and the low market value for bocaccio will presumably act to minimize harvests in these waters (Table 3).

In BC, the recent annual commercial harvest of about 295 t (1996-2000) translates into approximately 74 000 individuals. There is additional hook-and-line discard, and recreational and First Nations catch. The growing recreational fishery for groundfish could pose a long-term threat. As in the U.S., difficulties with recruitment are not well understood.