Technical Report

 

Lost in plain sight : the evolution of Oregon's nearshore groundfish trawl fleet Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/technical_reports/s1784t35f

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  • The West Coast groundfish industry collapsed in 2000, but it recovered through the efforts of regulators, scientists and the fleet. Now it is working to rebuild the market and reconnect with a formerly active fishing ground along Oregon’s nearshore. In this report, we define nearshore as the shelf that extends seaward to a depth of 110 fathoms (660 feet). The nearshore is of particular value to flatfish groundfish as a nursery and as settlement habitat. It’s also an important area for the recruitment of many other species of groundfish, which tend to settle within the region, making it a desirable spot for Oregon’s groundfish trawlers (1, 2, 3). Despite this, little research has been conducted on the shallow portions of the shelf (around 30 fathoms – or 180 feet – deep). Many of the details of the ecology, health and processes in these habitats remain poorly understood. The knowledge of people who fish within this region, the challenges they face, and the opportunities they can glean from the reopening of nearshore fishing grounds are also insufficiently explored. With this in mind, our study aimed to gather and synthesize the experiential knowledge of nearshore commercial fishermen into a comprehensive and insightful picture of this place, the fishery and the people who engage with it. Connecting narratives and information on fish stocks, their management and the fleet presents an opportunity to holistically understand the health, value and future of this nearshore fishery. We began by gathering data from commercial trawl logbooks and fish tickets. We also conducted semi-structured interviews with industry participants. Our work provides an opportunity to use this local ecological knowledge (LEK) to enhance scientific ecological knowledge (SEK) and inform regional management, users and citizens about Oregon’s nearshore.
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  • This report was prepared by Oregon Sea Grant under award number NA180AR4170072 (project number R/RCF-37-Ciannelli1820) from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program, U.S. Department of Commerce, and by appropriations made by the Oregon State Legislature.
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