A California Sea Grant Coastal Specialist is leading a socioeconomic study of the commercial fishery for California halibut in partnership with the commercial fishing community, state fisheries managers, and Sea Grant colleagues. The project’s focus is on the human system — the players, places and processes — that interact with the fishery’s ecological system. The project team is collecting and analyzing information from the literature, fishery landings data, and individuals knowledgeable of the fishery to develop a well-grounded description of the fishery and its dynamics over the past 15 years. Together they are identifying factors that explain variability and change in the fishery over time. Their initial results will be vetted and refined with a larger group of participants in the commercial California halibut fishery before the final results are made public. The team also is developing and evaluating a collaborative process for documenting, evaluating and predicting change in the fishery’s human system that can be adapted for use in other fisheries. A final summary report will be posted on the California Sea Grant and California Department of Fish and Wildlife websites.
Collaborative Fisheries Research to Build Socioeconomic Essential Fishery Information: A Test Case