Bocaccio and Widow Rockfish Assessments Completed

SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division researchers John Field and Xi He completed the bocaccio and widow rockfish stock assessments and presented them to the Stock Assessment Review (STAR) panel earlier this month. Both species are overfished and are of considerable management concern to the Pacific Fishery Management Council.

The assessments were implemented using the Stock Synthesis III model and by the end of the week the STAR panel had endorsed base models for both assessments and identified alternative scenarios that appropriately bracketed uncertainty. Results show that the status of bocaccio has improved since the last assessment in 2007, with current depletion estimated to be 26% of an unfished population. Similarly, widow rockfish stock status also improved (current depletion = 38.5%) but is not quite rebuilt to the target level of abundance (40%).

The two assessments will now be forwarded to the Scientific and Statistical Committee for action at the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s September meeting in Foster City, California.

(July 20, 2009)