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Natural Awakenings Spokane WA/Coeur d'Alene ID

Fertile Fish: Unexpected Aquatic Rebound

Sep 30, 2019 06:30AM

Damsea/Shutterstock.com

Overfished and struggling widow rockfish are returning to the Pacific coast. Legal protections since 2001 had made it illegal to take the fish commercially, and fisheries managers implemented “catch share” regulations as the fishing fleet dwindled from 400 to 50 trawlers. But the fish have made a faster comeback than expected. National Marine Fisheries Service biologist Jason Cope notes that scientists were surprised by how quickly some rockfish species can reproduce. “We thought it might take a century or so for them to rebuild themselves; it’s now taking maybe a decade.”
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