Report: Stock assessment for Bocaccio in British Columbia waters for 2012

Canadian and U.S. governments differ on special status for bocaccio in the Salish Sea. 

Bocaccio (Sebastes paucispinis). Photo courtesy of NOAA.
Bocaccio (Sebastes paucispinis). Photo courtesy of NOAA.

A 2012 report from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (FOC) concludes that bocaccio populations in British Columbia waters have been declining for decades, but falls short of recognizing special status for endangered Puget Sound/Georgia Basin populations. 

Bocaccio (Sebastes paucispinis) in the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin region are listed as an endangered and genetically distinct population under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, but the FOC report states that "the U.S. work provides only a partial justification for assuming a separate Puget Sound/Georgia Basin population," based on COSEWIC guidelines. Given that possibility, FOC excluded the B.C. portion of the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin bocaccio stocks from this most recent assessment. The report says that Canadian and U.S. scientists are currently collaborating on genetics work. Recreational catch, which was not included in previous assessments, was considered in this report.

The report concluded that bocaccio populations in B.C. waters have been in decline since the 1930s, "with the steepest decline occurring from 1985 to 1995." It said declines have continued, but slowed since 1995. The scientists provided recommendations for future work and addressed the recommendations that arose based on the previous assessment. The report is an update to a previous assessment, adding four years of data (2008-2011).

Read more about rockfish in Puget Sound.