COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Bocaccio in Canada
- Assessment Summary
- Executive Summary
- COSEWIC Mandate, Membership and Definitions
- Lists of Figures, Tables and Appendices
- Species Information
- Population Sizes and Trends
- Limiting Factors and Threats
- Special Significance of the Species
- Existing Protection or Other Status
- Summary of Status Report
- Technical Summary
- Acknowledgements and Literature Cited
Bocaccio are found in the eastern Pacific Ocean from Stepovak Bay, Alaska west of Kodiak Island, to Punta Blanca, Baja California, Mexico (Eschmeyer et al. 1983).
Commercial trawl catches indicate that bocaccio are present along the entire outer Pacific coast of Canada (Fig. 3a, Table 1). The largest reported catches have come from the northwest end of Vancouver Island and Queen Charlotte Sound. As most commercial groundfish fishing is conducted on the outer coast near the continental shelf break, there is little information on the distribution in the inlets and nearshore waters of B.C. However, they have been reported from the Strait of Georgia, Juan de Fuca Strait, Queen Charlotte Strait, Barkley Sound and Fitz Hugh Sound (Fig. 4, Table 2). Note in Figs. 3-5 that most of the trawl catch comes from tows conducted near the break-in-slope of the continental shelf, as well as the edges of Sea Otter, Reed and Moresby Troughs in Queen Charlotte Sound. Like many of the deeper water rockfishes, highest catch densities are found over rocky high relief bottom near the edge of the continental shelf. U.S. catches have traditionally come from the California and Washington trawl fisheries with small amounts from Alaska (Table 3).
There are no obvious trends in the distribution of bocaccio catches in the outer coast trawl fishery since 1996 (Figs. 6 and 7). We assume that this species has been present throughout this range since the development of the fishery (Table 1). Longer-term comparisons of the distribution are problematic owing to inadequate geospatial data prior to 1991 (see Rutherford 1999), and lack of data on rockfish species composition, prior to 1967 (Tagart and Kimura 1982).
Detailed catch data from rockfish fisheries by First Nations are not available. However, a First Nations spokesperson indicated that bocaccio have always been a part of the aboriginal fisheries on the west coast of Vancouver Island (A. Amos, pers. comm. Appendix 1). Results from middens are inconclusive owing to the difficulty in identifying rockfish remains to species.
There have been no trawl landings of bocaccio reported in sales slips or dockside monitoring from the Strait of Georgia since 1983 (Minor Areas 13-18, 28, 29) (Table 2, Fig. 3b). However, retention of rockfish is now prohibited and no trips have observers. Bocaccio have been observed in recent shrimp surveys in the Strait of Georgia (Fig. 4). One trawl fisher commented that, over the last 20 years, he has captured 8-10 bocaccio from the lower part of the Strait of Georgia (Minor Areas 17-19) and in the last few years has captured two adults from Minor Area 18. He also commented that bocaccio are common in Juan de Fuca Strait (Minor Area 20) (T. McDermid, pers. comm. Appendix 1).
Also shown are the boundaries of Major Areas used by DFO fisheries management.
Includes trawl discards but hook and line discards and aboriginal and recreational catches unknown.
Commercial salmon troll fishers commented that while they captured bocaccio in the Strait of Georgia during the 1970s (Minor Area 17), they did not recall catching them in the same area in the 1990s (R.N. Best and R.A. Best, pers. comm. Appendix 1). There is qualitative evidence that bocaccio were more common in recreational catches of the Strait of Georgia and in Howe Sound (Minor Area 28) from the 1940-1960s (Pierrepont 2001) (R. North, pers. comm. Appendix 1). Nevertheless, bocaccio continue to be captured in the recreational fishery in Minor Area 17 (T.G. Brown, pers. comm. Appendix 1) (Fig. 3b).
Year of capture is noted for the observations in enclosed waters (* the point labeled “1997” in Barkley Sound was recorded on an observed commercial shrimp trawl trip).
See Figure 3 for chart of Minor Areas). Aboriginal and recreational catches not included.
Trawled areas are indicated in red. The intensity in colour varies proportionally with the number of trawls in each 1 km2 block.
n.a. = not available
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