Biological Considerations for Management of Data-Limited Surfperch (Family Embiotocidae) Populations in British Columbia

Biological Considerations for Management of Data-Limited Surfperch (Family Embiotocidae) Populations in British Columbia

Thomas W. Therriault, Bryan Rusch, and Douglas E. Hay

Biological Considerations for Management of Data-Limited Surfperch (Family Embiotocidae) Populations in British ColumbiaThis is part of Fisheries Assessment and Management in Data-Limited Situations
PDF    
To download the free PDF [355.8 KB], please enter:
-or-

Description

Eight species of Embiotocidae occur in British Columbia (BC): four are distributed coastwide (pile perch, shiner perch, striped seaperch, and kelp perch) and four (redtail surfperch, walleye surfperch, silver surfperch, and white seaperch) have distributions restricted to the extreme southern part of the province. Commercial fisheries target only the coast-wide species but because the ranges of nontarget species overlap those of commercial ones, especially along the southern coast of Vancouver Island, there is potential for conservation concerns for nontarget species. Embiotocids are brooding, live-bearers that mature slowly and produce few young. As a result, populations may be vulnerable to overfishing even at moderate exploitation levels, with recovery limited by low fecundity and possibly small population sizes. The limits of the available data, however, make evaluation of these conservation concerns difficult. With the exception of kelp perch, which are restricted to kelp forest habitats, embiotocids are found around wharves and pilings where they are targeted by an unmonitored recreational fishery. Shiner and pile perch inhabit these and other habitats, including deeper waters where they are taken as bycatch in trawl fisheries. The current commercial fishery occurs nearshore using drag seine or hook and line gear and landings usually are small and intermittent. There is no documentation or monitoring of bycatch of nontarget species in the commercial embiotocid fishery. Although management of embiotocid fisheries in BC is hindered by data limitations, consideration of basic biological information on these species could be useful for improving management advice.

Item details