Marine Region’s 2019 Year in Review Now Available!

2019 Year in Review and By the NumbersThe 2019 Year in Review is now available for your reading pleasure along with its companion document By the Numbers. The Year in Review is a condensed one-stop shop of the entire year’s accomplishments and our By the Numbers summarizes some of the most important commercial and recreational fishing numbers for your easy review. In other words, if you only read two documents from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Marine Region this year, these are them! Continue reading “Marine Region’s 2019 Year in Review Now Available!”

Draft Aquaculture Informational Report to be Presented to the Marine Resources Committee on March 17

Aquaculture operations
Aquaculture operations. CDFW photo

In 2006, the State enacted Senate Bill 201 which requires the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), in consultation with the Aquaculture Development Committee, to “prepare programmatic environmental impact reports (PEIRs) for existing and potential commercial aquaculture operations in both coastal and inland areas of the state [if certain conditions are met]…”. Due to the complexities of this legislation, a draft PEIR has not yet been published as CDFW continues to work towards determination of an appropriate path forward in both the design and implementation of a management framework for existing aquaculture operations and potential future operations.

As a step toward providing a common understanding of existing marine aquaculture activities in the State, the potential impacts of those activities, and future considerations of expansion, CDFW has developed a draft informational report on commercial marine aquaculture in California. Building off the extensive body of work that was developed for previous versions of the PEIR, the report describes the primary marine aquaculture species and culture methods currently approved, a summary of environmental settings and potential impacts, the current management context including primary policies and management authorities, and expected opportunities and challenges facing the future development and management of commercial marine aquaculture.

The draft report will be presented to the California Fish and Game Commission’s (Commission) Marine Resources Committee on March 17, and CDFW is recommending it be submitted to the Commission at their April 15-16, 2020 meeting to provide a foundation for public discussion around current and future commercial marine aquaculture in California.

post by Kathryn Johnson, CDFW Environmental Scientist

Meeting Change: Webinar to Provide Overview of Commercial Regulation Changes to Help Minimize Marine Life Entanglement

crab gear
Dungeness crab gear.      CDFW photo

CDFW’s Marine Region had been planning to host an in-person meeting to provide an update on the proposed Risk Assessment and Mitigation Program (RAMP) regulations and Conservation Plan currently in development for the commercial Dungeness crab fishery. Instead, the meeting will move to an online viewing format to make it more accessible to stakeholders and the public.

This informational webinar will provide an overview of the proposed regulatory changes to help minimize marine life entanglement in the commercial fishery. These regulations will also be the foundation of the Conservation Plan which is required to apply for an Incidental Take Permit under Section 10 of the federal Endangered Species Act. The Conservation Plan will address endangered species interactions in the commercial Dungeness crab fishery through the use of risk minimization measures. For additional information about the webinar, please contact:

post by Ryan Bartling, CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist
ocean habitats

A Model of Collaboration: The Orange County Marine Protected Area Council

MPA sign
MPA sign created by OCMPAC
photo by A. Van Diggelen

With so much to experience within the five counties that hug the Southern California coastline—Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego—it’s no surprise that almost half the state’s population, around 18 million people, can be found living along this famously sun-filled stretch of coast. Despite the large volume of people, California implemented 50 marine protected areas (MPAs) off these coastal counties in 2012.

Continue reading “A Model of Collaboration: The Orange County Marine Protected Area Council”