Study: SoCal MPAs have quickly boosted once-collapsing rockfish populations

West Coast rockfish species in deep collapse only 20 years ago have multiplied rapidly in large marine protected areas off Southern California, likely seeding surrounding waters with enough offspring to offer promise of renewed fishing, a new study has found.

The research published in Royal Society Open Science shows that protecting important ocean habitat promotes the long-term recovery of rockfish such as cowcod and bocaccio that have long been a staple of West Coast fishermen. Favorable ocean conditions also played a role, according to the study by scientists from NOAA Fisheries' Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC), University of San Diego, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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