Conservation Biology and Archaeology: Using faunal remains of Pacific cod from the Tse-whit-zen village

Author(s): Virginia Butler; Patrick Rennaker

Year: 2015


In 2010, the Salish Sea stock of Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) was listed as a species of concern, which resulted from declining commercial and recreational catches that have not increased despite harvest reductions. Fishery managers typically use historical data from the past 40 to 50 years to create baselines to manage reduced fisheries; archaeological data can extend these baselines much further back in time. The Tse-whit-zen village site, located on the southern shore of the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Port Angeles, WA, provides a ~ 2000 yr history of indigenous fisheries for one part of the Salish Sea and thus presents a unique opportunity to study Pacific cod history in the area. Through measurements of skeletal elements and faunal frequency estimates it is possible to reconstruct data that fisheries biologists collect, such as length, age, fecundity, and relative abundance compared to other species. This would extend the data available to fisheries biologists back 2000 years, and, along with site-scale and other regional paleoenvironmental records, enable us to study ways Pacific cod are affected by climate change and other processes.

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Cite this Record

Conservation Biology and Archaeology: Using faunal remains of Pacific cod from the Tse-whit-zen village. Patrick Rennaker, Virginia Butler. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395346)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -169.717; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -122.607; max lat: 71.301 ;