There are fish, too: literally, millions of tons of them, with over a million a year – the bulk of them pollock – being caught by commercial fisheries. However, although the region's fisheries are considered by-and-large to be well managed, there are, says Hocevar, some 'blind spots' – including the area around the canyons.
In 2006, the NPFMC turned back proposals that the canyons be granted some form of protection on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence they needed any. The following year, Hocevar and others descended from the deck of the Esperanza and provided that documentary evidence: footage and photographs of deep-sea corals and sponges, and a more vibrant benthic ecosystem that had been believed to exist.
But there were signs, too, of the impact of fishing in the form of damage and scarring from trawlers and longliners. As a result, Hocevar went to NPFMC and urged the establishment of a marine reserve around the canyons; as a result, the Council metaphorically pelted him with rotten fruit and booed him off the stage.