Taking Stock of Oregon’s Nearshore Fisheries: Development of Simple Assessment Tools for Better Management (2012-2014)

Selina Heppell
Oregon State University
Fisheries & Wildlife
104 Nash Hall
Corvallis, Oregon 97331
Phone: 541-737-9039
Fax: 541-737-3590

Very little is known about the population status of many commercially valuable nearshore fish species in the waters off Oregon, including black rockfish, lingcod, cabezon, kelp greenling, china rockfish, red Irish lord, buffalo sculpin, and redtail surf perch. Recent advances in assessment techniques could allow fisheries managers with limited budget resources to set harvest caps for these "data-poor" species based on what data there is, including local assessments. Dr. Heppell’s team will examine the application of simple assessment tools to existing data from Oregon and evaluate possible changes in local monitoring that could improve local stock assessments. 

The project aims to equip fisheries managers and scientists with a streamlined process that could let them apply the same methodology to other species. Perhaps more importantly, such simplified assessments could occur annually, helping detect overfishing long before it would show up under current assessment and catch-monitoring systems. While that might result in short-term take restrictions on some species, the application of such assessments could greatly benefit the near-shore fishery's long-term sustainability.