Humans are a key component of California’s ocean and coastal ecosystems, and fishing communities have voiced concern about socioeconomic and recreational impacts related to the establishment of California’s MPA network. Socioeconomic monitoring, in particular the collection of data that provides a comprehensive understanding of changes in fishing patterns over space and time, will help ensure that MPAs maximize their ecological, economic, and sociocultural benefits while minimizing potentially negative socioeconomic impacts.
This project will establish a scalable and replicable monitoring program for two consumptive human uses: commercial fisheries and commercial passenger fishing vessel (CPFV) fisheries. It will include focus groups with commercial fishermen in each of California’s major ports to obtain qualitative information on direct and indirect socioeconomic consequences of MPA establishment. It will also include integrated quantitative analyses of landings data, to identify potential effects on fishing communities. The researchers will communicate and collaborate with commercial and CPFV fishermen at the initiation of the project, during port-level engagement efforts, and at the closing of the project. It will also recommend key metrics and methods for monitoring the socioeconomic health of commercial and CPFV fisheries into the future.
This project has the potential to inform fisheries management, federal offshore renewable energy siting processes, and other overlapping initiatives in California.