Collaborative Surveys of Nearshore Fishes in and Around Central Coast MPA

R/MPA-4

In this project, researchers are enlisting the expertise of commercial sportfishing vessel owners and recreational anglers to conduct hook-and-line surveys of nearshore rockfishes. Vessels will be departing out of ports in Half Moon Bay, Morro Bay, Monterey and Port San Luis to survey three sites in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and three reference sites outside MPAs. These sites are in waters deeper than divers can survey and shallower than the planned manned submersible surveys. Each of the six sites will be surveyed two days a month for three months. Nine to 15 anglers will be taken out to fish each time. The hook-and-line catch method complements underwater visual surveys and is especially useful in sampling mid-water and cryptic species. Besides helping to evaluate the effectiveness of the MPAs, the data will be of relevance to stock assessments of key species.

Co-principal Investigators

  • University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography