Small-scale fisheries are culturally significant and provide coastal communities with economic opportunities. On the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, five First Nations co-manage a small-scale commercial fishery for gooseneck barnacles (Pollicipes polymerus). To inform the sustainable expansion of this fishery, I conducted an experimental harvest to estimate post-harvest recovery of gooseneck barnacles, the biotic matrix (i.e., acorn and thatched barnacles and mussels), and bycatch of mussels. After 14 months, mean matrix recovery was 74% of its initial cover, while gooseneck barnacle biomass recovery was only 12%. Both were highly variable and none of the variables tested was able to predict recovery of the matrix or of gooseneck barnacles. These results suggest that other factors, such as space, larval supply, and a longer time period, might contribute to both matrix and gooseneck barnacle recovery. Bycatch of mussels, in terms of biomass, increased by 2% with each 1% increase in biomass of gooseneck barnacle harvested, and this effect increased with matrix depth. These findings can inform management, suggesting that if harvest effort increases, the 6-month rotational closure should be re-visited, and that bycatch can be addressed through simple management measures.
Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Member of collection