Illustration of Rockfish

Rockfish

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Seafood Variety

Harvest Method

Regions

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Shortspine thornyhead

Sebastolobus alascanus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Bottom trawl

Location

Alaska, California, Washington, Oregon

Overall Rating

3.0 / 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Rougheye rockfish

Sebastes aleutianus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Bottom trawl

Location

California, Alaska

Overall Rating

3.1 - 3.1 / 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Longspine thornyhead

Sebastolobus altivelus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Bottom trawl

Location

California, Washington, Oregon

Overall Rating

3.5 - 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Longspine thornyhead

Sebastolobus altivelus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Bottom trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.8 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments). There are some uncertainties associated with the interpretation of the data.

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Darkblotched rockfish

Sebastes crameri

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

California

Overall Rating

3.2 / 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Northern rockfish

Sebastes polyspinis

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

Alaska

Overall Rating

3.3 - 3.5 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in Alaska are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Much information is available on stock status, and data indicates that populations are healthy. The groundfish are fished at a sustainable rate.

Management of a multi-species fishery can be challenging. However in this case, management is excellent as regular stock-assessments are performed with up-to-date assessments available, and regulations exist regarding biological reference points, harvest control rules, and incorporation of uncertainty when determining catch limits.

Some non-targeted species caught in the Alaskan groundfish fishery include: steller sea lions, giant grenadiers, killer whales, starry flounders, tanner crabs, snow crabs, Pacific sleeper sharks, longnose skates, spiny dogfish, northern fulmar, atka mackerel, sharpchin rockfish, harlequin rockfish, black-footed albatross, laysan albatross, and Pacific halibut. 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. Although longlines, pots, and jigs are immobile gear types, they nevertheless make contact with the ocean floor and have the potential to cause damage. In order to mitigate these impacts, a number of regulations including spatial restrictions are in place.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Pacific Ocean perch

Sebastes alutus

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

California, Alaska

Overall Rating

3.3 - 3.4 / 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Splitnose rockfish

Sebastes diploproa

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

California, Washington, Oregon

Overall Rating

3.3 / 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Vermilion rockfish

Sebastes miniatus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline

Location

California

Overall Rating

3.1 / 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Tiger rockfish

Sebastes nigrocinctus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Jig, Troll

Location

British Columbia (Inshore)

Overall Rating

2.8 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments). There are some uncertainties associated with the interpretation of the data.

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Widow rockfish

Sebastes flavidus

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl, Midwater trawl

Location

California, Oregon

Overall Rating

3.3 - 4.4 / 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Shortraker rockfish

Sebastes borealis

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

Alaska

Overall Rating

2.9 - 3.1 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in Alaska are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Much information is available on stock status, and data indicates that populations are healthy. The groundfish are fished at a sustainable rate.

Management of a multi-species fishery can be challenging. However in this case, management is excellent as regular stock-assessments are performed with up-to-date assessments available, and regulations exist regarding biological reference points, harvest control rules, and incorporation of uncertainty when determining catch limits.

Some non-targeted species caught in the Alaskan groundfish fishery include: steller sea lions, giant grenadiers, killer whales, starry flounders, tanner crabs, snow crabs, Pacific sleeper sharks, longnose skates, spiny dogfish, northern fulmar, atka mackerel, sharpchin rockfish, harlequin rockfish, black-footed albatross, laysan albatross, and Pacific halibut. 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. Although longlines, pots, and jigs are immobile gear types, they nevertheless make contact with the ocean floor and have the potential to cause damage. In order to mitigate these impacts, a number of regulations including spatial restrictions are in place.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Silvergrey rockfish

Sebastes brevispinis

Method

Wild

Midwater trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.9 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments). There are some uncertainties associated with the interpretation of the data.

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Dusky rockfish

Sebastes variabilis

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

Alaska

Overall Rating

3.3 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in Alaska are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Much information is available on stock status, and data indicates that populations are healthy. The groundfish are fished at a sustainable rate.

Management of a multi-species fishery can be challenging. However in this case, management is excellent as regular stock-assessments are performed with up-to-date assessments available, and regulations exist regarding biological reference points, harvest control rules, and incorporation of uncertainty when determining catch limits.

Some non-targeted species caught in the Alaskan groundfish fishery include: steller sea lions, giant grenadiers, killer whales, starry flounders, tanner crabs, snow crabs, Pacific sleeper sharks, longnose skates, spiny dogfish, northern fulmar, atka mackerel, sharpchin rockfish, harlequin rockfish, black-footed albatross, laysan albatross, and Pacific halibut. 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. Although longlines, pots, and jigs are immobile gear types, they nevertheless make contact with the ocean floor and have the potential to cause damage. In order to mitigate these impacts, a number of regulations including spatial restrictions are in place.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Greenstriped rockfish

Sebastes elongatus

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

California, Washington, Oregon

Overall Rating

3.1 / 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Blue rockfish

Sebastes mystinus

Method

Wild

Handline

Location

California, Washington, Oregon

Overall Rating

2.8 / 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

Variety

Blackspotted rockfish

Sebastes melanostictus

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

Alaska

Overall Rating

3.2 - 3.7 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in Alaska are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Much information is available on stock status, and data indicates that populations are healthy. The groundfish are fished at a sustainable rate.

Management of a multi-species fishery can be challenging. However in this case, management is excellent as regular stock-assessments are performed with up-to-date assessments available, and regulations exist regarding biological reference points, harvest control rules, and incorporation of uncertainty when determining catch limits.

Some non-targeted species caught in the Alaskan groundfish fishery include: steller sea lions, giant grenadiers, killer whales, starry flounders, tanner crabs, snow crabs, Pacific sleeper sharks, longnose skates, spiny dogfish, northern fulmar, atka mackerel, sharpchin rockfish, harlequin rockfish, black-footed albatross, laysan albatross, and Pacific halibut. 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. Although longlines, pots, and jigs are immobile gear types, they nevertheless make contact with the ocean floor and have the potential to cause damage. In order to mitigate these impacts, a number of regulations including spatial restrictions are in place.

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Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Aurora rockfish

Sebastes aurora

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

California, Oregon, Washington

Overall Rating

3.3 / 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Black rockfish

Sebastes melanops

Method

Wild

Handline

Location

California, Washington, Oregon

Overall Rating

3.0 / 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Blackgill rockfish

Sebastes melanostomus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Bottom trawl

Location

California, Washington, Oregon

Overall Rating

2.9 - 3.2 / 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

Variety

Cabezon

Scorpaenichthysm armoratus

Method

Wild

Handline

Location

California, Oregon, Washington

Overall Rating

2.9 - 3.1 / 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Brown rockfish

Sebastes auriculatus

Method

Wild

Handline

Location

California, Washington, Oregon

Overall Rating

2.8 / 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Canary rockfish

Sebastes pinniger

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

California, Washington, Oregon

Overall Rating

2.9 / 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Canary rockfish

Sebastes pinniger

Method

Wild

Midwater trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.8 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments). There are some uncertainties associated with the interpretation of the data.

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Chilipepper rockfish

Sebastes goodei

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

California, Washington, Oregon

Overall Rating

3.1 / 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

China rockfish

Sebastes nebulosus

Method

Wild

Handline

Location

California, Washington, Oregon

Overall Rating

2.7 - 2.9 / 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Bocaccio rockfish

Sebastes paucispinis

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Bottom trawl

Location

California, Washington, Oregon

Overall Rating

2.9 - 3.2 / 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Yellowmouth rockfish

Sebastes reedi

Method

Wild

Midwater trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.8 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments). There are some uncertainties associated with the interpretation of the data.

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Yelloweye rockfish

Sebastes ruberrimus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Jig, Troll

Location

British Columbia (Inshore)

Overall Rating

2.8 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments). There are some uncertainties associated with the interpretation of the data.

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Yellowtail rockfish

Sebastes flavidus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Jig, Midwater trawl, Troll

Location

California, Oregon, Washington

Overall Rating

3.3 - 4.4 / 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Yellowtail rockfish

Sebastes flavidus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Jig, Midwater trawl, Troll

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.9 - 3.2 / 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Quillback rockfish

Sebastes maliger

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Jig, Troll

Location

British Columbia (Inshore & Offshore)

Overall Rating

2.8 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments). There are some uncertainties associated with the interpretation of the data.

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

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

Variety

Splitnose rockfish

Sebastes diploproa

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

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

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

Variety

Chilipepper rockfish

Sebastes goodei

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

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

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

Variety

Widow rockfish

Sebastes flavidus

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

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Eco-Certification:

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

Variety

Yellowtail rockfish

Sebastes flavidus

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

Rougheye rockfish

Sebastes aleutianus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Bottom trawl, Jig, Midwater trawl, Troll

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.2 - 2.6 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments).

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Redstripe rockfish

Sebastes proriger

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.2 - 2.4 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments).

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Shortraker rockfish

Sebastes borealis

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Bottom trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.2 - 2.6 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments).

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Grass rockfish

Sebastes rastrelliger

Method

Wild

Handline

Location

California, Washington, Oregon

Overall Rating

2.6 / 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, black and yellow rockfish from California caught by handline, canary rockfish caught by handline, and grass rockfish from California caught by handline. 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. Rockfish are distributed throughout the west coast, and sablefish are mostly exported to Japan.

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. No stock assessments are performed; grass rockfish are of unknown abundance and fishing mortality rate. Recent catch data suggests that the population is not overfished, but uncertainties remain.

The use of handlines is generally a selective fishing method which does not make contact with the seabed and limits coral and sponge damage. However, the grass rockfish fishery in California causes the bycatch of California sheephead whose stock status and fishing mortality rate are of high concern. Grass rockfish are not classified as species of exceptional ecological importance, and a fishery ecosystem plan is currently being developed for the groundfish fishery. According to observer data, fisheries using handlines were not found to cause coral or sponge bycatch.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Pacific Ocean perch

Sebastes alutus

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl, Midwater trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.4 - 2.6 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments).

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Tiger rockfish

Sebastes nigrocinctus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Jig, Troll

Location

British Columbia (Offshore)

Overall Rating

2.6 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments).

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Silvergrey rockfish

Sebastes brevispinis

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.7 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments).

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Vermilion rockfish

Sebastes miniatus

Method

Wild

Handline

Location

California, Washington, Oregon

Overall Rating

2.7 / 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.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Yellowtail rockfish

Sebastes flavidus

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.7 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments).

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Widow rockfish

Sebastes entomelas

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.2 - 2.4 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments).

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Yelloweye rockfish

Sebastes ruberrimus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Jig, Troll

Location

British Columbia (Outside)

Overall Rating

2.6 - 2.7 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments).

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Shortspine thornyhead

Sebastes alascanus

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.6 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments).

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

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Variety

Redbanded rockfish

Sebastes babcocki

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Bottom trawl, Midwater trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.3 - 2.6 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments).

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

China rockfish

Sebastes nebulosus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.6 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments).

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Yellowmouth rockfish

Sebastes reedi

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.7 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments).

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Black and yellow rockfish

Sebastes chrysomelas

Method

Wild

Handline

Location

California

Overall Rating

2.5 / 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, black and yellow rockfish from California caught by handline, canary rockfish caught by handline, and grass rockfish from California caught by handline. 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. Rockfish are distributed throughout the west coast, and sablefish are mostly exported to Japan.

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. Black and yellow rockfish have life history characteristics that make them moderately vulnerable to fishing pressure. No stock assessments are performed; black and yellow rockfish are of unknown abundance and fishing mortality rate.

The use of handlines is generally a selective fishing method which does not make contact with the seabed and limits coral and sponge damage. However, the black and yellow rockfish fishery in California causes the bycatch of California sheephead whose stock status and fishing mortality rate are of high concern.

Black and yellow rockfish are not classified as species of exceptional ecological importance, and a fishery ecosystem plan is currently being developed for the groundfish fishery. According to observer data, fisheries using handlines were not found to cause coral or sponge bycatch.

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Variety

Canary rockfish

Sebastes pinniger

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.7 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments).

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Copper rockfish

Sebastes caurinus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.6 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments).

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Darkblotched rockfish

Sebastes crameri

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl, Midwater trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.2 - 2.4 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments).

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Greenstriped rockfish

Sebastes elongatus

Method

Wild

Bottom trawl

Location

British Columbia

Overall Rating

2.3 - 2.5 / 5

Summary

Groundfish in British Columbia are caught as part of a multi-species fishery. Out of the 68 species/gear combinations, 16 were found to be sustainable. In 2012, BC landed $104.2 million worth of non-hake groundfish. Pacific halibut, sablefish and rockfish account for 83% of the value of the landings. A large proportion of the groundfish are exported to countries including the US, Japan, the UK and Russia.

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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada (COSEWIC) has identified several groundfish of threatened status, although recovery of these species is challenging given limited data. 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. According to recent stock assessment updates, the population health and fishing mortality of many BC groundfish is healthy (although some BC groundfish are still lacking up-to-date stock assessments).

Non-targeted species caught in the BC Groundfish fishery include: bocaccio rockfish, green sturgeon, redstripe rockfish, soupfin shark, sharpchin rockfish, splitnose rockfish, spotted ratfish, 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 trawls have the potential to cause large amounts of habitat damage due to the fact that they drag across the ocean floor. 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. Bottom trawls are prohibited in areas where sponge reefs exist. In 2012, additional measures were imposed in order to protect corals and sponges. Recently, trawl vessels have been equipped with midwater trawls. Midwater trawls cause minimal habitat damage as they do not usually make contact with the ocean floor.

Learn more about harvest methods