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13 West Coast fish species added to 'sustainable' list

13 species declared 'sustainable,' OK for commercial fishing

West Coast trawler fishermen just got some new opportunities.

The Marine Stewardship Council on Tuesday listed 13 species of fish as "sustainable," opening up new markets for boats working out of ports in California, Oregon and Washington.

The designation, announced in Portland, Ore., comes after three years of rebuilding stocks under a cooperative program involving fishermen, environmentalists and fishery managers. The improvement was spurred by a "catch-share" program that uses a scientific formula to set quotas on catches.

"For West Coast consumers, this announcement means that their options for buying local and certifiably sustainable fish have just expanded dramatically," said Geoff Bettencourt, a commercial fisherman from Half Moon Bay. "It's great news for everyone who loves seafood."

The successful replenishment of the species "is a testimony to the environmental and economic benefits we can achieve by working together to solve major fisheries challenges," said Shems Jud, deputy Pacific region director for the Environmental Defense Fund's Oceans Program.

The 13 fish species new to the sustainable list are: chilipepper rockfish, longspine thornyheads, shortspine thornyheads, splitnose rockfish, widow rockfish, yellowtail rockfish, longnose skate, arrowtooth flounder, Dover sole, English sole, ling cod, petrale and sablefish.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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