West Coast groundfish certified as sustainable – Bellingham Herald

It appears to be a political compromise to the commercial fishing industry. It’s considered by some a necessary evil, even though the many of these stocks are actually not yet at levels that some scientists feel is sustainable. While California and Oregon are ahead of Washington on protection of habitat for rockfish and other groundfish, there is still huge pressure by the commercial fisheries to label the species sustainable. The positive side is that this will allow a greater co-management of the catch, but likely the numbers will decline.  We’ll have to follow up over the years and see if they are actually doing what they claim they are going to do. 


More than a decade after overfishing led to the collapse of the one of the West Coast’s most valuable fisheries, it has been certified as sustainable. The international Marine Stewardship Council announced Tuesday in Portland, Oregon, it has certified that 13 bottom-dwelling species collectively known as groundfish are harvested in an environmentally sustainable way. That applies to species sold as red snapper, Dover sole and lingcod. In a 400-page report, the council said federal regulations are in place to protect habitat, hold fishermen responsible and set harvest quotas based on scientific data. The action led the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watchlist to move six West Coast rockfish species from “Avoid” status, to “Good Alternative.” Jeff Barnard reports. (Associated Press)

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