Cow Cod Conservation Area (CCA) Proposal
The CCA is 4,700 square miles of closed ocean off the Southern California Coast. Its purpose at the point of creations in 2001 was to protect a species of ground fish known as the Cow Cod. Over the following decade, extensive research was conducted including many observations from a remotely operated vehicle. Based on the research it was realized that the shallow areas of the CCA were not in need of closure. A proposal has been made to the Pacific Fisheries Management Council to open the CCA out to 30 fathoms and permit the retention of shelf rockfish. A significant issue regarding the shelf rockfish was that it was not permitted to retain them in the CCA based on prior regulations. The unintended consequence of this was the waste of rockfish that are caught as bycatch.
The Council approved of the concept in a vote of 13-1. The recommendation of the Council has been forwarded to NOAA for evaluation and probable implementation.