NOAA — FishWatch: Lingcod

29 Мар 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
Baja 232 boat

Fishing Rate

Sustainable (overfishing not occurring)

Habitat Impacts

Off the West Coast, bottom trawls contact the ocean floor and can impact habitats, depending on the bottom type and the size of the footrope (the section of the net that rolls along the bottom). Trawls cause minimal damage when targeting lingcod over soft, sandy, or muddy bottoms. To avoid damaging their nets, fishermen are less likely to use trawls with small footropes to fish over rocky, hard bottoms. Although often criticized, West Coast bottom trawl fisheries are highly regulated under a new trawl “catch share” program, which encourages responsible fishing practices. Management measures also prohibit bottom trawling in certain areas to protect the rocky habitat where lingcod live throughout much of their life. Other gears used to harvest lingcod off the West Coast and Alaska have little impact on habitat.

Bycatch

Off the West Coast, bottom trawls and longlines can incidentally catch other groundfish and non-groundfish species. West Coast bottom trawl fisheries are highly regulated under a new trawl “catch share” program, which encourages responsible fishing practices and closely monitors the amount of all catch. Management prohibits fishing in certain areas to protect sensitive fish populations, such as canary and yelloweye rockfish. Vessels use vessel monitoring systems (VMS), which allow enforcement staff and fishery managers to monitor GPS locations of fishing activities and ensure that vessels are complying with closed areas.

Baja 232 boat

OVERVIEW


Lingcod hiding motionless on a reef in California Point Lobos State Reserve.

Lingcod is neither a ling nor a cod – it’s a member of the Pacific greenling family, Hexagrammidae . native only to North Pacific waters off the west coast of North America. This fish likely got its name from early settlers due to its similarity to European ling and its cod-like white, flaky flesh.

However, since groundfish are harvested together, catch of more abundant species such as lingcod has been limited by the need to rebuild the still-overfished species. In early 2011, managers implemented a “catch share program” for the West Coast groundfish trawl fishery to address this issue. Under this program, managers divide the total allowable catch for the fishery into shares controlled by fishermen. Fishermen can catch their share whenever they want, allowing them the flexibility to better plan their season, fish during safer weather and when market prices for their catch are highest, and reduce bycatch of overfished species.

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