Fish and Game bans rockfish from commercial and personal fishing in Southeast
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has announced a full-year closure of both commercial and personal fishing of two varieties of rockfish in Southeast Alaska.
The Daily Sitka Sentinel reported the moratorium is the result of a 60% decrease in rockfish biomass since assessments began in 1994.
The department says demersal shelf rockfish and yelloweye rockfish fisheries in southeast Alaska are included in the ban. Officials say the rockfish decrease occurred despite conservative management practices over the past decade.
The department encourages personal-use fishermen to use rockfish deepwater release devices to decrease the mortality rate of yelloweye while fishing for other species.
requires that fishermen use a deepwater release mechanism to return fish to the depth it was hooked or to a depth of at least a hundred feet. The department says that the proper use of these devices can reduce the mortality of rockfish by over 95%.
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, yelloweye rockfish can live up to 122 years, but are extremely slow-growing, making them susceptible to overexploitation.