Why The Washington Dept of Fish and Wildlife
Banned Commercial Nearshore Fishing

(from Pacific Fishing April 1996(?), a quote from Evan Jacoby, General Counsel for Wash. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife)

"In spite of protests from affected fishermen, the WDFW has adopted a rule banning hook-and-line fishing (commercial) for bottom fish in coastal waters, with the exception of Neah Bay. 'We want to make sure there is a viable recreational fishery for now and for the future' Jacoby said. 'We tried to reduce bag limits of recreational fishers in Puget Sound, but it's not very effective to limit seasons for recreational fishers if there is a commercial harvest going on.'... state biologist Farron Wallace said the rationale for the proposal is that the recreational fishery has no other alternatives for landing bottomfish. Currently about 60% of total landings by commercial hook-and-line fishermen occur outside the three-mile area. "We are approximately at the appropriate exploitation rate of rockfish to maintain the stocks at levels necessary for the recreational fishery," Wallace said.

In WDFW Concise Explanatory Statement regarding Live Fish Fishery Prohibition WAC 220-20-010, Dec. 15, 1999:

"1. Reasons for adopting the rule: The live fish market targets sub-adult species for the restaurant trade. This can significantly impact rockfish stocks, and caused a decline in California coastal waters. Since rockfish in Washington are an over-utilized species, any new targeted fishery would be detrimental to recovery of the stocks. This rule will prevent a targeted commercial fishery." The ruling went on to include sculpin, cabezon and greenling in the ban.