Illustration of Lingcod

Lingcod

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Lingcod (Buffalo cod, blue cod, white cod)

Ophiodon elongatus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Jig, Midwater trawl, Troll

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.8 - 4.0 / 5

Summary

Lingcod is caught as part of a multi-species groundfish fishery in British Columbia. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia. 1528 mt of lingcod were landed in BC in 2012.

Abundance has declined over several decades, and is thought to be at its lowest point since the late 1920’s. However there are many uncertainties associated with the population data, and it is estimated that biomass is in the healthy range. Bottom longline and jigged lingcod accounted for 26% of all lingcod caught in BC in 2013. The species is fished at a sustainable rate.

Management of BC groundfish is moderately effective as management measures such as reference points and harvest control rules exist. However these measures are not applied to all stocks, and are not always supported by scientific research. Fisheries officers are highly effective in enforcing management regulations such as total allowable catch. Vessels are monitored with 100% at-sea, 100% dockside and 100% observer coverage.

Non-targeted species caught in the BC groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted rackfish, sixgill shark, steller sea lion, Pacific halibut, giant grenadier, Pacific grenadier and flathead sole. Amongst these species include those whose stock status is of concern, whose inherent vulnerability to fishing pressure is high, or whose fishing mortality rates are high. Bottom longlines and jigs typically cause less bycatch than bottom trawls.

As immobile gear types which do not drag across the ocean floor, bottom longlines and jigs cause less habitat damage than bottom trawls. Many of the species targeted by the BC groundfish fishery are found in areas of hard substrate which are more susceptible to damage than areas of soft substrate. In order to mitigate habitat damage, a number of regulations including spatial regulations are in place. For example, no commercial fishing activities are allowed in Rockfish Conservation Areas. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Lingcod (Buffalo cod, blue cod, white cod)

Ophiodon elongatus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Bottom trawl, Handline

Location

Washington, Oregon, California

Overall Rating

2.9 - 3.6 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in the US are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 56 species/gear combinations, only 4 were found to be unsustainable: Kelp greenling from Oregon caught by handline, canary rockfish caught by handline, black and yellow rockfish from California caught by handline, and grass rockfish from California caught by handline. These species are covered in separate reports. Rockfish landings reached historically low levels in the early 2000’s. Recently, management has rebuilt the overfished stocks and 6 stocks are classified as rebuilding. In 2009, the value of the fishery was $66.1 million.

Management of a multi-species fishery can be challenging. However in this case, management is strong, as regular stock-assessments are performed, and regulations exist regarding biological reference points, harvest control rules, and incorporation of uncertainty when determining catch limits. In 2011, individual fishing quotas (IFQs) were established which requires 100% at-sea and dockside monitoring. Recent improvements in information availability on groundfish stocks have shown a general trend of increasing abundance and rebuilding stocks.

Some non-targeted species caught in the US Groundfish fishery include: Bocaccio rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, greenstriped rockfish, cowcod rockfish, spotted ratfish, darkblotched rockfish, shortbelly rockfish, splitnose rockfish, yellowtail rockfish, California sheephead, China rockfish, giant grenadier, black-footed albatross, big skate and California skate. Amongst these species include those whose stock status is of concern, whose inherent vulnerability to fishing pressure is high, or whose fishing mortality rates are high.

Bottom trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. In order to mitigate these impacts, a number of regulations including spatial restrictions are in place. For example, groundfish bottom trawling is prohibited in 25% of Essential Fish Habitat in waters shallower than 700 fathoms. The targeted groundfish are not classified as species of exceptional ecological importance, and a fishery ecosystem plan is currently being developed for the fishery.

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) - US West Coast limited entry groundfish trawl

Variety

Lingcod

Ophiodon elongatus

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl, Midwater trawl, Various

Location

Washington, Oregon, California

Eco-Certification

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
US West Coast limited entry groundfish trawl

Summary

Ocean Wise recommends some Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries, but not all. Learn more about how the MSC certification was bench-marked to Ocean Wise.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Lingcod (Buffalo cod, blue cod, white cod)

Ophiodon elongatus

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.7 / 5

Summary

Lingcod is caught as part of a multi-species groundfish fishery in British Columbia. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia. 1528 mt of lingcod were landed in BC in 2012.

Abundance has declined over several decades, and is thought to be at its lowest point since the late 1920’s. However there are many uncertainties associated with the population data, and it is estimated that biomass is in the healthy range. Bottom longline and jigged lingcod accounted for 26% of all lingcod caught in BC in 2013. The species is fished at a sustainable rate.

Management of BC groundfish is moderately effective as management measures such as reference points and harvest control rules exist. However these measures are not applied to all stocks, and are not always supported by scientific research. Fisheries officers are highly effective in enforcing management regulations such as total allowable catch. Vessels are monitored with 100% at-sea, 100% dockside and 100% observer coverage.

Non-targeted species caught in the BC groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted rackfish, sixgill shark, steller sea lion, Pacific halibut, giant grenadier, Pacific grenadier and flathead sole. Amongst these species include those whose stock status is of concern, whose inherent vulnerability to fishing pressure is high, or whose fishing mortality rates are high. Bottom longlines and jigs typically cause less bycatch than bottom trawls.

As immobile gear types which do not drag across the ocean floor, bottom longlines and jigs cause less habitat damage than bottom trawls. Many of the species targeted by the BC groundfish fishery are found in areas of hard substrate which are more susceptible to damage than areas of soft substrate. In order to mitigate habitat damage, a number of regulations including spatial regulations are in place. For example, no commercial fishing activities are allowed in Rockfish Conservation Areas. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges.

Learn more about harvest methods