Inherent Vulnerability

Some species of rockfish can live up to 200 years of age. (Credit: Living Oceans Society)

There is a dizzying array of species that end up on dinner plates. Each species is uniquely adapted for its ecosystem. For example, some species take decades to become reproductively mature others only months. Some live to over 200 years old, others not more than two years. These characteristics make them either more or less vulnerable to fishing.

Theoretically any species can be properly managed however increased vulnerability also increases the probability of making a management error. The more vulnerable the animal is, the greater the need for strong management.

SOLUTIONS
High vulnerability species require strong management There is no way of changing the inherent vulnerability of a species, however, we can change the way we fish these types of species. A species with a high inherent vulnerability requires stringent management including conservative catch quotas, ongoing assessment, and good monitoring of the catch.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
100 years of growth…10 seconds in your mouth If in doubt of where or how your fish was caught, stay away from species that are old lived, late to mature, or grow to a very large size. Generally, Pacific rockfish, sharks, and any fish from the deep sea are inherently vulnerable whereas small shiny fish like sardines, herrings, and anchovies are fast growing and mature at an early age. Search for sustainable seafood