NOAA recently published the proceedings of the Rockfish Recovery Workshop we helped host in 2011. It’s 124 pages of state of the art science on the status, history and future of rockfish populations, many of which are way down from historic levels and several of which are listed on the Endangered Species List.
Download the PDF here: Rockfish Recovery Workshop Proceedings
Rockfish are pretty amazing. Some live up to 200 years. Others will find their way back to their rock-pile homes if you transport them to another spot miles away.
SeaDoc’s role in sponsoring the workshop is a good example of how we’re able to bring our whole-ecosystem perspective to the table. Obviously rockfish recovery has to take place on both sides of the international border. But things quickly become complicated when you’re talking about scientists traveling over the border to attend a workshop. Canadian scientists couldn’t get travel money from their agencies. NOAA and the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, being US government organizations, couldn’t pay for the travel of foreign nationals. But SeaDoc could. Because we’re funded mostly by private donations, we can spend money in ways government organizations can’t. So we sponsored a couple of high-ranking scientists from British Columbia to come down and share their experiences and perspectives.
SeaDoc has done numerous projects on rockfish over the years.
- SeaDoc’s mapping lab partner, Tombolo, led by Gary Green, Ph.D, has been instrumental in mapping rockfish habitat in the Salish Sea over the past decade. You can see rockfish habitat in our recent Maps of the Month in our November 2012 and January 2013 newsletters.
- We’ve sampled harbor seal scat to find out whether they are eating depressed rockfish stocks: http://www.seadocsociety.org/node/377
- Genetic identification of brown rockfish stocks: http://www.seadocsociety.org/node/216
- Analyzed otoliths (ear bones) to understand population structures of quillback rockfish: http://www.seadocsociety.org/node/498
- Studied whether river otter predation is affecting rockfish: http://www.seadocsociety.org/river-otter-diet-project
- Investigated whether Marine Protected Areas are effective for rockfish recovery: http://www.seadocsociety.org/rockfish-mpa-research
- Trained recreational divers to collect data on fish populations: http://www.seadocsociety.org/node/84
Watch our 2011 marine science lecture on rockfish here: http://www.seadocsociety.org/node/653