New Year Brings New Protections For West Coast Seafloor Habitat – OPB

And more good news, as environmentalists and fishermen come together to finalize protecting one of the largest coastal areas in the world from destructive trawling practices, while recovering fish stocks. This has been a poster child for how to achieve a balanced approach to ocean management.

Regulations starting Jan. 1 restrict bottom trawl fishing on about 90% of the seafloor off Oregon, Washington and California.

Read the whole story at the link below:

https://www.opb.org/news/article/new-laws-2020-west-coast-seafloor-habitat-coral-sponges/

Good news from the coast

Seattle Times reports that.”West Coast fishery rebounds in rare conservation ‘home run’”

After years of fear and uncertainty, bottom trawler fishermen — those who use nets to scoop up rockfish, bocaccio, sole, Pacific Ocean perch and other deep-dwelling fish — are making a comeback here, reinventing themselves as a sustainable industry less than two decades after authorities closed huge stretches of the Pacific Ocean because of the species’ depletion.

Celebrate by buying some locally caught bottom fish tonight! It’s really important to reward these fishermen for their hard won successes. Many others went bankrupt waiting for this rebound to happen.

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/west-coast-fishery-rebounds-in-rare-conservation-home-run/

 

Washington’s 46-year-old black rockfish record broken – Spokesman Review

After 46 years, Washington has a new state record black rockfish, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed today. The fish weighing 10.72 pounds was caught on May 15 by Steven Charles Orr of Rochester, Washington. The fish, measuring 26.15 inches long, was hooked in Marine Area 1 near Ilwaco, Pacific County. Orr said he was bait fishing with herring.  Rich Landers reports. (Spokesman-Review)

http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2016/may/23/washingtons-46-year-old-black-rockfish-record-broken/

Re-evaluating rockfish – Skagit Valley Herald

More on rockfish…

One day last year, Jay Field of Anacortes went fishing for yelloweye rockfish, and caught what he describes as a gorgeous 18-pounder. Fishing for that species has been unheard of in the area for years because it is protected under the Endangered Species Act. But Field, captain of Dash One Charters, was contributing to the latest rockfish research. Fisheries managers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the state Department of Fish & Wildlife say results of that research could change the protection status of some rockfish. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

http://www.goskagit.com/all_access/re-evaluating-rockfish/article_9c198166-fbbd-5c96-b931-78cfff31081c.html

Photo of the Day – Tiger Rockfish

Another beauty by Bruce Kerwin. Used by permission. Taken off the Rock Pile in Port Angeles Harbor. This is the area that is slated for demolition by the Navy.

DSC_2509 Tiger Rockfish - The Rockpile - Port Angeles 10-4-2014

 

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BruceKerwinKU/posts/LN7YrrG1Rhk?pid=6067645203539598098&oid=111304016964445915403

Feds to protect Puget Sound habitat for rockfish – Various sources

A small ray of good news shines through the bad this morning, as National Marine Fisheries has required that federal agencies take rockfish protection into their future planning, meaning that fishing, and other activities related to the species will need greater scrutiny before being allowed. This affects us here in Jefferson County, because our near shore activities, such as rule making with the Shoreline Master Program, includes protecting kelp beds and other shores where the fish might live and breed. Our local Marine Resources Committees are also gearing up to do kelp bed monitoring (there is a significant one off North Beach and the area around the lighthouse at Admiralty Inlet) over the next year. If you are wondering where the kelp beds might be, check out our new tool, SoundIQ that lists near shore areas. A link to it can be found at the front left side of this blog.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is set to designate about 1,000 square miles in Puget Sound as critical habitat for three species of imperiled rockfish. The habitat protection follows a 2010 decision to list yelloweye, canary and bocaccio rockfish under the Endangered Species Act. The agency says the rockfish are vulnerable to overfishing because they have long lives and mature slowly with sporadic reproduction. The designation will require federal agencies to make sure their actions don’t harm rockfish habitat. The rule is scheduled to be published on Thursday. The protected area will cover about 340 fewer square miles that originally proposed, excluding some tribal lands and military areas. (Associated Press)

This is one of the many press releases that were picked up by dozens of news outlets last night.

 http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2014/rockfish-11-12-2014.html

The entire document can be found at the link below. For those of you actively engaged in monitoring activities of kelp beds and also fisheries, this is worth reading or at least skimming. The science and the way that they made their decisions is found in the document.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/fish/pdfs/rockfish_critical_habitat_2014.pdf

I want to thank Norm Baker of Sequim, who has worked tirelessly on this issue for years. He has been a key local contact for many of the bureaucrats in our state. He knows probably more than anyone around on the issue, and the benefits of this particular announcement.

Yo! Rockfish ReCompression Video – Funny and really worth watching

Are you a fisherman? Catch rockfish? Check out this newer rap video on how to get rockfish back safely into the water and save it. Remember that rockfish take a long time to grow, and they stay in their local territory. So it’s important to get them back in the water quickly. I was unaware that the recompression techniques can save even severely barotraumaed fish. Barotrauma often kills rockfish if not recompressed. Luckily we, and those fabulous little rockfish, can get down with our bad selves and the help of this most epic video montage. The following Rockfish PSA was concocted by the masterminds of California Sea Grant and NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center.

be sure to catch the rap at the end as well.

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