Learning from a legacy of overfishing – Salish Sea Currents Magazine

Fishing for rockfish was once promoted as a sustainable alternative to salmon harvests, but when rockfish numbers plummeted, fisheries managers realized they had a problem. Now a rockfish recovery plan seeks to reverse the damage as scientists learn more about protecting this once-popular game fish. David Williams writes. (Salish Sea Currents Magazine)

Learning from a legacy of overfishing

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:


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.



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)


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)


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



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.


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.

Rockfish Critical Habitat 2014

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.

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), propose to designate critical habitat for three species of rockfish in Puget Sound & Strait

Big news. The Federal Government is proposing designating critical habitat for certain rockfish. Public comment now open. Comments on this proposed rule must be received by 5 p.m. P.S.T. on November 4, 2013. Requests for public hearings must be made in writing by September 20, 2013. Comments close on 11/04/2013. The Feds say “Puget Sound” but actually are also including some areas of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. To them, it’s apparently all the same. They delineate it deeper in the document.  From the people I’ve talked to close to this decision, this has been studied a great deal and a lot of meetings have been held getting to this decision.  It likely will raise some objections, likely intense. But the stocks are in such critical shape in many places,  this appears to be needed. It’s not a new issue, the fact that the Feds have finally moved on it is. Hopefully (and apparently) we still have time to save some of them.  As you may or may not know, rockfish do not migrate. They hang out in their habitat, and can live  a long long time. They are often bycatch of other fisheries, and if you bring them up from a great depth, they end up often getting ‘the bends’ (barimetric poisoning) and die.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), propose to designate critical habitat for three species of rockfish listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), including the threatened Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus), the threatened DPS of canary rockfish (S. pinniger), and the endangered DPS of bocaccio (S. paucispinus) (listed rockfish). The specific areas proposed for designation for canary rockfish and bocaccio include approximately 1,184.75 sq mi (3,068.5 sq km) of marine habitat in Puget Sound, Washington. The specific areas proposed for designation for yelloweye rockfish include approximately 574.75 sq mi (1,488.6 sq km) of marine habitat in Puget Sound, Washington. We propose to exclude some particular areas from designation because the benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of inclusion and exclusion of those areas will not result in the extinction of the species.



And more from Mike Satos’ blog:

The National Marine Fisheries Service proposes to designate almost 1,200 square miles of Puget Sound as critical habitat for three species of endangered rockfish. The habitat protection follows the 2010 decision to list yelloweye, canary and bocaccio rockfish under the Endangered Species Act. The Fisheries Service says the rockfish are vulnerable to overfishing because they have long lives and mature slowly with sporadic reproduction. Tuesday’s designation will require federal agencies to make sure their actions don’t harm rockfish habitat. The protected area in Puget Sound overlaps existing critical habitat for Puget Sound Chinook and Hood Canal summer-run chum, bull trout and Southern Resident killer whales. Critical habitat listed for Puget Sound rockfish http://kplu.org/post/critical-habitat-listed-puget-sound-rockfish Also, if they haven’t erected a paywall, Chris Dunagan reports: Habitat protection proposed for endangered rockfish in Puget Sound http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2013/aug/06/habitat-protection-proposed-for-endangered-in/#axzz2bGUhM000


Rockfish Recovery Workshop Recap

Thanks to Mike Sato for this tip. And say that title fast three times.

Rockfish. Real fish. Back in late June, SeaDoc, state Fisheries and NOAA held a Rockfish Recovery Workshop in Seattle. SeaDoc has provided a “2011 Rockfish Recovery Workshop recap


No fish left behind…where will we fish next?

Any of us that love to fish have realized, instinctively, that fishing is in decline and that what we have lost in one generation, around the Straits, Sound, and out on the oceans, is a diminishing pie split among more and more people

This interesting article, by Science Daily, shows a bit more of the facts behind the belief. It’s real, and it’s getting worse.

‘No Fish Left Behind’ Approach Leaves Earth With Nowhere Left to Fish, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (Dec. 3, 2010) — Earth has run out of room to expand fisheries, according to a new study led by University of British Columbia researchers that charts the systematic expansion of industrialized fisheries.

In collaboration with the National Geographic Society and published in the online journal PLoS ONE, the study is the first to measure the spatial expansion of global fisheries. It reveals that fisheries expanded at a rate of one million sq. kilometres per year from the 1950s to the end of the 1970s. The rate of expansion more than tripled in the 1980s and early 1990s — to roughly the size of Brazil’s Amazon rain forest every year.

Read the whole story here.


Rockfish Conservation Plan needs comments by May 21st. Please help.

Support efforts to protect the dwindling rockfish population in Puget Sound and the Straits. 

Revised Puget Sound Rockfish Conservation Plan Comments due Friday, May 21st

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has issued the Revised Draft of the Puget Sound Rockfish Conservation Plan (PSRCP). New comments are needed in support the Revised Plan because it is substantially better in scope and application. This revised plan covers all of Puget Sound and creates Marine Reserves and Rockfish Conservation Areas where rockfish stocks and species are specifically protected. Marine reserves and Rockfish Conservation Areas are a network of protected marine habitats. Inside these areas, fishing is totally prohibited or severely restricted. This network of protected habitats will allow all Endangered Species of Puget Sound to rebuild their populations. Because there is always considerable political contention surrounding depressed fisheries and yet another restrictive management plan, adoption of the Revised Plan will require strong support from the environmental community and the public. Please support WDFW’s Revised Puget Sound Rockfish Conservation Plan by sending letters and emails of support before Friday May 21st at 5PM. Include the name of the proposal and your name in the subject line of your comment. For example; “Revised Puget Sound Rockfish Conservation Plan – John Doe.”

The important points to discuss are; a). The Revised Plan is clearly the most proactive plan the WDFW has ever done to protect and restore the fisheries and ecosystems of Puget Sound. b). Puget Sound has the most depressed fisheries in North America and Washington has the longest list (51) of endangered marine species. c). The revised plan is part of a larger nationwide political movement toward Ecosystem Based Management (EBM). EBM recognizes that ecosystem connections exist amongst all living things and human activities and habitat protection. EBM will guide our uses of the oceans and coasts so they are used and managed sustainably. EBM is clearly the future for managing all of our natural marine resources. d). Sierra Club supports the Preferred Action Alternative proposed by the WDFW. e). Emphasize that we need “No Take” marine reserves to protect marine habitats and help restore all endangered species. f). Modern fishing technology allows fishermen to identify and take fish from any habitat or site in Puget Sound. We need sites protected to protect vulnerable species. g). Ask the WDFW to hold local public meetings each time a marine reserve (MR) or rockfish conservation area (RCA) is proposed. h). Also ask them to promote the restoration potential of “No Take” marine reserves. Lastly, get ready to participate in those meetings and support “No Take” Marine Reserves. Many fishermen will oppose the creation of marine reserves.

 The restoration of Puget Sound ecosystems and sustainable fisheries are at stake. Submit your comments in one of the followings ways:

 Email to SEPAdesk2@dfw.wa.gov;

  Online at the WDFW website comment link at: http://www.wdfw.wa.gov/hab/sepa/sepa.htm;

 Fax to 360- 902-2946  Mail to; WDFW Responsible Official Teresa A. Eturaspe, SEPA/NEPA Coordinator Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 600 Capitol Way Olympia, WA 98501-1091

People For Puget Sound take stand on Rockfish

The public comment period on a state plan to conserve and recover Puget Sound’s rockfish population closes today January 4 and the environmental group People For Puget Sound has forwarded its comments to the state Department of Fish & Wildlife.

In comments prepared by Science Director Doug Myers, dmyers@pugetsound.org, People For Puget Sound wrote:

“In general, People For Puget Sound supports more robust management of rockfish populations and an ecosystem approach to addressing these unique, long-lived group of species.

The most diverse and abundant remnant of rockfish populations in the whole of Puget Sound persists in the area from Neah Bay to Tatoosh Island and must be permanently preserved as a No Take Marine Protected Area for its potential to restock depleted populations elsewhere in the Sound.

We agree that the complexity of rockfish life history may require that habitats other than the rocky habitats occupied by adult rockfish be protected and restored.

Some of the alternatives identified in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement present a false choice, because the grouping of environmentally sustainable and prudent management actions with more dubious “engineered solutions” such as artificial reefs and hatcheries leaves no clear way to separate those philosophically different choices.

Outreach messages should focus on the unique life history and management challenges that are leading to potential listing as threatened or endangered species.  The long lived nature of most rockfish species, long period of recruitment, the increasing fecundity with age, susceptibility to mortality as bycatch from other managed fisheries, complexities of their life history beyond adult rocky habitats and site fidelity that puts them at risk for overfishing are not generally known by either the public or the fishing community.

PDN – Plan to close rockfish habitat might be on hold.

While the rockfish and other bottom fish are being  over-fished to virtual extinction in our area, there seems to be people willing to fish them to extinction before effectively protecting them.  The problem with rockfish and other groundfish is their reproductive cycle is much longer than salmon. While I understand the tribe’s concern of their maintaining their livlihood, is there going to be a livlihood when the fish are gone, as they are elsewhere in the Sound? This seems very familiar. We heard similar arguements just prior to the collapse of the logging industry on the Peninsula in the late 70s. Once the big trees were gone, most of which happened due to the change to the laws to allow unlimited shipments of raw logs to Asia, not the Spotted Owl controversy, we then had jobs totally vanish. We are still recovering from that fiasco. This seems very similar. When the fish are gone, it will be a half century or more of no fishing at all to restore the stocks. Better to cut back now. As to Jennings support of a dive park, heck, we all have our personal goals. I’m sure the other members of the commission have theirs.

12/29 Peninsula Daily News
Controversial plan to keep sport fishers from Cape Flattery area might be put on hold
By Tom Callis
Peninsula Daily News

NEAH BAY — A member of the state Fish and Wildlife Commission behind a controversial proposal to close a six-square-mile area off Cape Flattery to sport fishing to protect groundfish and rockfish now says he expects the issue to be tabled for about a year.

His fellow commissioners need more time to review whether a closure is needed to protect the area’s groundfish population, said David Jennings of Olympia.

Jennings’ proposal remains in the agency’s draft 2010-2012 sport fishing rules document, which will be considered for a vote during the commission’s Feb. 4-6 meetings

More at

Fighting to save the Rockfish – Your input needed!

Want to take action to help save our dwindling population of rockfish? Send in your comments on the EIS to the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. They have extended the comment period to January 17th, 2010. My thanks to Norm Baker for forwarding this along. People For Puget Sound, Sierra Club, and many others will be taking a stand on this issue. Here’s the facts…

Puget Sound Rockfish Conservation Plan (PSRCP).

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Fish Program.

Natural Resources Building, 6th floor, 1111 Washington St. SE. Olympia, WA98501-1091


Date Issued. The DEIS is available for review and download beginning October 19, 2009 at http://www.wdfw.wa.gov/hab/sepa/sepa.htm.

Mail comments. Theresa A. Eturaspe; SEPA/NEPA Coordinator, 600 capital way north, Olympia WA 98501-1091. E-mail comments to SEPA desk2@dfw.wa.gov or through the WDFW SEPA website comment link at http://www.wdfw.wa.gov/hab/sepa/sepa.htm or fax to (360)902-2946. Make sure the title to your comments includes “Puget Sound Rockfish Conservation Plan DEIS”.  The comment period has been extended from Nov. 19th through to Jan 4th, 2010.

Date of Final Action Plan. The final environmental impact statement will be released in 2010.

Future phase: Agency actions are anticipated as detailed regulations are developed for specific water basins. The plan applies to the entire Salish Sea (i.e. Puget Sound, Straits of Juan De Fuca, San Juan Islands and Hood Canal) north to the US-Canadian border and west to the mouth of the Sekiu River. Due to oceanographic, biological, bathymetric and geographical differences, the area of the plan is broadly divided into North Puget Sound and the South Puget Sound.

Plan Support. Environmental groups need to show strong support for the Puget Sound Rockfish Conservation Plan and the creation of a network of marine reserves. No actual marine reserves are proposed in the PSRCP plan. The Coastal Conservation Association, representing recreational fishermen, is aware of the benefits of marine reserves but is taking a cautious but positive proactive approach. Due to the enormity of the problem, many environmental organizations are starting to partner as PACs for legislative reform of our fisheries management. Implementing marine reserves, amongst other issues, is believed by fisheries scientists to be absolutely essential to fisheries management reform and ecosystem restoration.

Purpose of the PSRCP. Restore and protect Puget Sound Rockfish populations, ecosystem and provide opportunities for sustainable fishing. Four alternatives are being considered. Alternative 1 will provide the greatest in-depth benefits to all rockfish species. However, the WDFW PSRCP prefers a mix of the four alternatives based on the professional judgment of the fisheries biologists. Of the 15 elements reviewed for potential impact on the environment, the most significant is that recreational fishing opportunities could be reduced or severely modified apparently on a case by case implementation of each marine reserve. There is no mention of any impact or curtailment of commercial or tribal fishing and this is a significant and serious criticism. Thirty two endangered or threatened species endemic to Puget Sound are listed with known food web interactions with rockfish species. Sixteen of the endangered or threatened species are Rockfish species (Sebastes spp.). Currently, 47 species are listed as endangered or threatened for the Salish Sea. Currently, Washington has 62 endangered or threatened species state-wide.


Governing Environment. Implementing this plan will be difficult because of the number of governing agencies – ten in all. Each marine reserve proposed in the future will be accomplished on a case by case basis asking for public input and support.


Rockfish Biology. In Puget Sound, there are 28 species with very diverse biology’s, habitat requirements, depth requirements and life spans – as short as 5 years but commonly 50 years and up to 200 years.  Some are not sexually mature until they are 20 years old. All rockfish species have live-birth of young and exhibit low reproductive potential and erratic infrequent successful yearly reproduction. Rockfish have swim bladders and suffer extremely high mortality when released after being caught by fishermen. Most are associated with rocky habitats which are relatively few and easily disturbed. These factors make effective management and protection difficult and complex. Artificial reefs made from deconstruction materials have proven very useful for reestablishing rockfish.


Management. Traditional fisheries management tools have not helped restore rockfish. Commercial overharvest between 1970 the early 1990’s led to declines in rockfish populations, which have been further impacted by recreational fishing since the early 1990’s. Several forms of commercial fishing are no longer allowed. Currently, ghost nets and derelict gear are killing numbers estimated to be almost twice the recreational harvest. Incidental recreational catch while fishing for other species (salmon, halibut and lingcod) is also a problem. Juvenile rockfish in particular are significantly affected by disruption of aquatic vegetation and armoring shorelines. Due to the large number of rockfish species, the current conservation plan utilizes a “Key Species” concept to simplify management and restoration. Seven representative “key” species are identified in the plan.

Management decisions that impact recreational fishing could be negative and substantial. Season and area closures and gear limits are anticipated. In particular, marine reserves will be a particularly contentious point. Marine reserves are generally defined by the scientific community has “no take” areas of suitable habitat. A common attitude amongst commercial fishermen, recreational fisherman and the tribes is that fish stocks are already depressed and that marine reserves means that they will be losing extremely desirable fishing spots. Consequently, they oppose all marine reserves since livelihoods can be affected. This will be a very difficult problem to circumvent and will quickly become the most polarizing issue that modern fisheries management must face.

Points to be Made Supporting this Plan:

  • Over all, this draft of the EIS for the restoration of rockfish and the Salish Sea is quite sound and is clearly based in solid science. It continues the Washington Department of Fish and wildlife’s tradition of excellence in fisheries management and the implementation of marine reserves. In fact, Sobel and Dahlquist (1) compliment the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife on a particularly incisive application of marine reserve science.
  • The EIS is also a significant positive science based step toward resolving a difficult and complicated problem of multi-species fish management in an effort to reestablish sustainable population levels for all species.
  • A review and consensus policy statement by the American Fisheries Society found several species of Salish Sea Rockfish (Sebastes spp.) to be particularly vulnerable.
  • Over harvest, especially commercial over harvest, is the principal cause for decline of rockfish. Current recreational harvest and incidental by-catch of commercial operations has kept populations suppressed.
  • Puget Sound has the distinction of being the second most threatened complement of fish stocks in North America. Only Chesapeake Bay is worse.
  • Current academic treatises on marine reserves (1) and marine conservation biology (2) recommend scientifically designed marine reserves and advocate 20% of the management area be established and regulated as “no take” fishing zones. Washington State currently has 0.02% of its fisheries management area designated as marine and aquatic reserves and those reserves only qualify as small research projects.
  • Total marine reserves on the West Coast currently contain less than 1.5% of ocean waters in protected habitat. Also, only 0.04% of the west coast Exclusive Economic Zone is protected. In contrast, 13% of global land areas are protected as parks, reserves and refugia.
  • Recreational, commercial and tribal fishermen are currently harvesting all fish species and populations endemic to the Salish Sea at less than 1% of historic levels. Hatchery production alleviates that production problem. Marine reserves will restore and help make our fisheries sustainable. Unfortunately, fisheries scientists have also shown that hatcheries contribute to genetic drift and harm wild fish populations. They have also shown that net pen farming harms wild fish populations by acting as centers for parasite dispersal to smolts.
    • Around the world 23 nations have established marine reserves to protect biodiversity, ecosystems, manage important fisheries and restore depleted populations of marine plants and animals. Restoration results are generally outstanding if the reserves are large enough and old enough. In a global review of marine reserves, biomass increased 413%, density increased 200%, fish size increased 82% and species diversity increased 71%. Additionally, the global average increase in fish biomass for many different reserves showed a range of 20% to 800% (1,2).
    • Of all the states with significant marine fisheries, Washington has the smallest and least effective system of marine reserves. Coincidentally, it also has the most severely degraded fish stocks and one of the largest lists of endangered and threatened species.
    • Marine reserves have been shown to be the best, most cost effective, fisheries management technique to combat genetic drift due to overfishing and combat ecosystem degradation.
    • Marine reserves, if well designed, large enough and given sufficient time, nearly always reestablish the natural biodiversity and functioning ecosystems within five to eight years.
    • Many environmental organizations, (for example – Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Wild Fish Conservancy, Coastal Conservation Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, People For Puget Sound, American Fisheries Society, Marine Conservation Biology Institute, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, National Research Council and many others) all have policy and position statements dedicated to marine fisheries reform and the establishment of marine reserves.  Additionally, President Obama established the Interim Report of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force “…in order to meet our nation’s stewardship responsibilities…..”
    • The Ocean Conservancy has published A Scientific Consensus Statement Supporting Marine Reserves where 1900 leading marine scientists and experts advocate more marine reserves and more research.
    • Marine reserves have been shown to be the key to establishing protected areas that allow large old fish to produce more offspring and higher-quality offspring than exist in fishing zones. Those larvae and juveniles have been shown to be the principal source of fish outside the marine reserves.  For example, a 50-pound female halibut can produce about 500,000 eggs, while a female over 250 pounds can produce four million eggs – an increase of 800%. Halibut can grow to nine feet long and weigh from 500 to 700 pounds and the oldest on record was 55 years old. World record is 459 pounds. Clearly, marine reserves create successful trophy fisheries for recreational fishermen.
    • Acceptance of the Marine Reserve concept and the restrictions on recreational, commercial and tribal fishing will require a truly exceptional education and outreach program. The one outlined in the Rockfish Conservation Plan is wholly inadequate. We suggest the Department of Fish and Wildlife, especially the Fish Program, develop a special contact form on their website to secure in-house WDFW speakers for fishing clubs, environmental organizations, and sport shows. Every major sport show should have a speaker discussing marine reserves. That seminar should be preceded by considerable advertising and marketing to marinas, boat dealers, fishing tackle manufacturers, marine trade shows, etc. The speaker should come armed with an amazing amount of information and many successful examples of marine reserves and the benefits to all forms of fishing and fisheries management. This is the only way to effectively inform the public at large about the benefits of marine reserves as a necessary step toward sustainable fisheries.
    • The plan makes no mention of curtailing commercial or tribal harvest of any fish species that incidentally takes rockfish. To gain acceptance of this plan amongst the fishing community and have a positive impact on Puget Sound rockfish, curtailment of commercial and the tribal catch must be discussed in the revised plan. We suggest that strong provisions be added to the conservation plan that discuss selective harvest measures for tribal and commercial fishermen. Selective harvest should be aimed at hatchery fish while catch and release is applied to wild fish. Recreational fishermen would be far more receptive to the idea of marine reserves if they knew closures and restrictions impacted all fishermen more or less equally.
    • Marine reserves have a revolutionary potential that is becoming a mainstream fisheries management tool. Sustainable fishing cannot be accomplished without the ecosystem based management that marine reserves offer. Consequently, the goals of fisheries management and environmental conservation have become one and the same.



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