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COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Bocaccio in Canada

Summary of Status Report

In this report, all bocaccio in B.C., are considered to be a single population or ESU, although this hypothesis remains untested and U.S. data show genetic differences between California and Washington. The biology and demography of bocaccio are poorly known in B.C. because they have had a limited economic role in the fishery. The trawl fishery harvests bocaccio from the edge of the continental shelf from Alaska to the Washington State borders. The commercial and recreational fisheries probably kill over 74 000 individuals per year; this is largely due to the trawl fisheries.

The best data set is taken from the west coast of Vancouver Island (U.S.-based survey) and indicates a decline of over 90% in the past 10 years and 95% in the past 20 years for data up to 2001. There is also a well documented decline of bocaccio in adjacent U.S. waters, where individuals may be part of the same population. Lack of a fishery-independent index and difficulty in interpreting fishery-dependent statistics makes the status of the population uncertain in the rest of B.C.