Researchers at N.C. State have found, contrary to previous understanding, black sea bass have high survival rates after experiencing the trauma of being brought to the ocean surface too rapidly. This finding has the potential to better inform federal stock assessments that ensure the population of black sea bass stays at a sustainable level.
“We started this research because there was a need for accurate estimates of how many fish die when they are released back into the water after they are caught by either recreational or commercial fishing,” said Jeff Buckel, professor of applied ecology and co-author of the study.
According to Buckel, a stock assessment uses a variety of data to model a population of fish. The National Marine Fisheries Service does stock assessments of black sea bass to determine if any changes are needed, given the size and mortality rate of the fish population, or “stock,” Buckel said.