Sometimes when you go fishing, you just do not know what you are going to catch. This is often the case in the West Coast groundfish fishery, where more than 90 different species frequent similar habitats and are managed together under a single management plan by NOAA Fisheries and the Pacific Fishery Management Council. When different species of fish cohabitate, it can be difficult to target or avoid any particular one; so if any species becomes overfished, it takes the cooperation and commitment of everyone to rebuild. Canary rockfish—one of more than 60 species of rockfish included in the West Coast groundfish fishery—fell into this category when it was declared overfished in 2000.
Anticipated to take approximately 30 years to rebuild, thanks to the stewardship of our fishermen who honored the recovery provisions, the canary stock was declared rebuilt in 2015—15 years ahead of schedule—and the allowable catch limit has been raised commensurate with the increased population level.
For more information on the sustainability of U.S. seafood and the status of canary rockfish, including recipes, visit FishWatch.gov.