PACIFIC OCEAN — Commercial fishing, always an uncertain business, may become more tenuous on the West Coast due to spreading areas where there isn’t enough oxygen to support important fish species.
In recent years, few fisheries were more complicated or had a more questionable future than the West Coast groundfish trawl fishery in the waters off the Oregon, Washington and California coasts. Many of the species had been overfished for years and the fishery was declared a federal disaster in 2000.
But through the efforts of fishermen and a drastic overhaul of how the fishery was managed, the fishery bounced back. Last year, it even obtained Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for 13 species, signifying that the fishery met the MSC’s standards for sustainable fishing.
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