Illustration of White Seabass

White Seabass

Filters

Seafood Variety

Harvest Method

Regions

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

White seabass

Atractoscion nobilis

Method

Wild

Drift gillnet, Handline

Location

California

Overall Rating

2.9 - 3.4 / 5

Summary

White seabass have been fished since 1890. After US vessels were banned from Mexican waters in the 1980’s, fishery collapsed. In 1986, artificial propagation helped to bolster population numbers. In 2012, 171 mt of white seabass were landed. Almost no white seabass are imported to Canada, with the majority being consumed within the US, and a very small market in Mexico.

White seabass have life history characteristics that make them moderately resilient against fishing pressure. No stock assessments are performed on the population, but fishing does not exceed management limits, and white seabass have recovered from their collapse in the 1980’s. The white seabass fishery is moderately well managed. A fishery management plan exists and is reviewed annually, although this is not a formal stock assessment. The commercial fishery is also subject to minimum size limits, and gillnets are banned in nearshore water.

The entanglement of humpback whales in gillnets is of concern as humpbacks are listed as an endangered species. White sharks are also occasionally caught. Little bycatch is caught with hooks and lines. Hook and lines do not typically touch the sea floor, and thus have minimal impacts on the habitat. Drift gillnets do not cause habitat damage since they do not touch the seafloor. The impact of removing the white seabass from the ecosystem is unknown.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

White seabass

Atractoscion nobilis

Method

Wild

Bottom gillnet

Location

California

Overall Rating

2.7 / 5

Summary

White seabass have been fished since 1890. After US vessels were banned from Mexican waters in the 1980’s, the fisheries collapsed. In 1986, artificial propagation helped to bolster population numbers. In 2012, 171 mt of white seabass were landed. Almost no white seabass are imported to Canada, with the majority being consumed within the US, and a very small market in Mexico.

White seabass have life history characteristics that make them moderately resilient against fishing pressure. No stock assessments are performed on the population, but fishing does not exceed management limits, and white seabass have recovered from their collapse in the 1980’s. The white seabass fishery is moderately well managed. A fishery management plan exists and is reviewed annually, although this is not a formal stock assessment. The commercial fishery is also subject to minimum size limits, and gillnets are banned in nearshore water.

The entanglement of humpback whales in gillnets is of concern as humpbacks are listed as an endangered species. White sharks are also occasionally caught. Bottom gillnets have the potential to affect habitat negatively. However they are operated over a very limited area where the substrate consists of soft sediment. This minimizes habitat damage. The impact of removing the white seabass from the ecosystem is unknown.

Learn more about harvest methods