Knowing a fish's age is crucial for proper fisheries
management, but until recently, scientists did not know
whether the Pacific grenadier was six or sixty.
In the Monterey Bay area, Pacific grenadier used to be considered a junk fish. But as near-shore fish species get fished out or regulations become stricter, commercial fishers must turn to new species.
"In the '70s, people started fishing sablefish [black cod], in the '80s, they started fishing thornyhead," Gregor Cailliet, an ichthyologist at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in Salinas, California, says. "And in '90s, now they're going farther offshore for grenadier."
Jim Glock, fishery management coordinator for the Pacific Fishery Management Council, says, "There's no specific management for grenadier: There's no annual quota, there's no restriction on vessels, there's no closed season."
There was never a need for it before; no one wanted to buy the ugly, bug-eyed fish known as Pacific rat-tail. But even with that unappetizing appearance, the mild-tasting white fillets of Pacific grenadier, the fish scientists call Coryphaenoides acrolepis, are increasingly popular with customers at the local Safeway.
|KNOWING FISHES AGES IS CRUCIAL FOR MANAGING A FISHERY||INACCURATE ESTIMATES OF FISHES' AGES CAN CAUSE MISMANAGEMENT||A NEW WAY TO ESTIMATE FISHES' BIRTHDAYS||WILL THERE BE CATCH LIMITS FOR THE PACIFIC GRENADIER?||INFORMATION ON THE WRITER AND THE ILLUSTRATOR|
Mari N. Jensen and Sondra W. Cohelan ©1997