Rockfish research: key results and potential management actions

A young yelloweye rockfish among some rocks

Over the past 50 years the central coast has seen a significant increase in recreational and commercial fishing pressure on rockfish. Our Nations are concerned about the impact these fisheries are having on this important food resource. In response CCIRA launched a rockfish research project in 2013.

Here, we present a summary of results from a recent research paper published by CCIRA’s Science Coordinator, Alejandro Frid.  For an in-depth look at this research, and how it relates to our rights as indigenous people, take a look at our story about this project.

Key results and potential management actions

Result 1: At sites important to FSC fishers, there were few old and large Quillback rockfish and even fewer old and large Yelloweye rockfish (red snapper)

Next Action: Urge DFO to manage fisheries not just for overall abundance, but to restore and maintain more large and old individuals in the population.

Result 2: Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCA’s) benefit Yelloweye rockfish.

Next Action: Expand protected areas using the expertise of central coast Nations.

Result 3: RCA’s did not benefit all species.
Next Actions: 1) Reassess the suitability of RCA habitat for different rockfish species, and 2) Increase monitoring to ensure recreational fishers are complying with RCA boundaries.

Result 4: Long-lived species are bigger and more abundant further away from lodges and ports.
Next Action: More detailed study of impact from recreational fishers. Additional Actions: Study the impact of commercial fisheries on central coast Rockfish.

Additional Actions: Study the impact of commercial fisheries on central coast Rockfish.

(Photo of young yelloweye rockfish by CCIRA Field Technician, Tristan Blaine).

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