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In Spain, gooseneck barnacles, “percebes,” are an overfished delicacy fetching a high market price ($50/lb.). Oregon fishing communities show interest in developing a percebes market utilizing Pollicipes polymerus. The incormation compiled in this report aims to inform resource managers to avoid over harvesting Oregon goosenecks.
In summer 2016, researchers investigated the current status of P. polymerus populations with three primary objectives:
A. Describe Oregon gooseneck populations on coastal jetties to inform harvest management.
B. Explore possible mariculture development for onshore gooseneck production.
C. Establish a collaborative multistakeholder framework for sustainable fishery development.
Researchers surveyed eight southern Oregon jetties using transect sampling and photographic documentation of gooseneck populations, which were then characterized by size-frequency distribution and density. Researchers observed spatially explicit trends according to tidal height and large variability in populations between jetties. Only 2% of these are of harvest-size, providing an Oregon percebes stock of up to 235,000 kg. Surveys suggest that wild populations of P. polymerus are unlikely to sustain long-term commercial harvest should the market significantly expand beyond its current size without implementing adaptive management practices. Affordable mariculture should be established to avoid overharvest in a growing market. Researchers designed a promising prototype for a relatively simple, affordable and effective onshore mariculture design to supplement commercial gooseneck production, with the ability to enhance barnacle growth rates using food supplementation.
Throughout the project, researchers maintained frequent communication with multiple stakeholders to focus the objectives and used public seminars to communicate findings and their implications to interested harvesters, managers, and the public. This research expands the knowledge base informing a viable, sustainable fishery. It uniquely joins science, management and fishery expansion in a preemptive approach to combat overfishing and a later need for restorative management while pursuing collaborative and sustainable small-scale fishery development.
Free dowload to accessible PDF of Development of a Sustainable Gooseneck Barnacle Fishery.