Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

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  • Dramatic declines in several groundfish populations have occurred along the U.S. West Coast during the last decade (PFMC 1999, Sampson 1997, Ralston 1998, Bloeser 1999). One problem exacerbating these declines is insufficient stock assessments, especially for species of west coast rockfish (Family Scorpaenidae, Genus Sebastes) which comprise the core of the Pacific Coast groundfish fishery. Although evidence has accumulated for substantial declines in the abundance of several species of rockfish, the overall picture is unclear since 78% of rockfish species have never been assessed (Ralston 1998, Bloeser 1999, NMFS 1999). In the 1999 report to Congress by the National Marine Fisheries Service on the status of overfished stocks in the United States, only 12 of the 54 rockfish species managed by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council (PFMC), had been assessed (Table 1). Of those 12 species, five were listed as “overfished” and one species was listed as “approaching overfished condition”. For the remaining 42 species of rockfish the status was listed as unknown. The primary reason for this uncertainty in status is the lack of demographic information for these species, which is necessary for stock assessment modeling equations (NRC 1998).
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