California Yellowtail (Seriola lalandi) Population Status
Posted by Peng Zhou | California, United States
The California Yellowtail (Seriola lalandi), a type of amberjack, is an important species of fish in southern California, and is especially prized as a target for the recreational fishery in California. Yet, despite its importance, very little is understood about the status of this population off of California and Mexico. The 2014 article from Seafood Watch on the California yellowtail, available here: http://www.seafoodwatch.org/-/m/sfw/pdf/reports/s/mba_seafoodwatch_cayellowtail_whiteseabassreport.pdf, states that "there is no formal stock assessment or reference points for the California yellowtail stock". The last population study seems to be from 2001. The lack of any scientific assessment for such an important species, outside of limited fishery landing counts, is a gross oversight and makes it difficult to evaluate the heath of the population. Part of this problem might be that the California yellowtail is migratory and that only a fraction of its population is expected to come into California from Mexico, depending on conditions. The need for cooperation with Mexican research institutions is therefore urgent.