Bocaccio proposed for removal from Species of Concern List

Bocaccio was added to the NMFS "Species of Concern" list following an Endangered Species Act Status Review in 2002, which was based on the 2002 stock assessment. A decision was made not to list the species as "Threatened" but extremely long projected rebuilding times (hundreds of years) gave cause for concern.

The stock was re-assessed in 2003, 2005, and 2007. A peer-reviewed change in the assumed natural mortality rate from 0.2 used in 2002, to 0.15 used in 2003-2007 results in much more optimistic rebuilding projections, and vanishing low estimated probability of extinction.

The stock has doubled in abundance since rebuilding began in 2000, and is expected to rebuild to optimum population size in the early 2020s. Fishery management has been effective in limiting fishing pressure by a combination of restrictive quotas, seasons, and area closures. There no longer appears to be reason to include bocaccio as a "species of concern."

(January 26, 2009)