Regulation Revisions Under Way for the Commercial Harvest of Marine Algae

giant kelp

Giant kelp

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is reviewing the regulations that govern the commercial harvest of marine algae along the California coast, primarily to improve clarity of the regulations and management policies.

Marine algae are important to nearshore ecosystems. They provide food and habitat for many marine animals, and biological services such as carbon dioxide absorption (during photosynthesis). In addition to their ecological importance, humans collect marine algae for a variety of uses. Native Americans historically and currently use marine algae Continue reading

What’s Happening with Pacific Sardine?

Pacific sardine

Pacific sardine

Last month, the National Marine Fisheries Service closed the large-volume commercial Pacific sardine fishery in state and federal waters off California, Oregon, and Washington until at least July 2016. This lucrative fishery brought in over $40 million to California only eight years ago. Pacific sardine biomass has decreased since then and is now too low to support large volume fishing, forcing fishery managers to close the fishery to protect the population. What happened to the Pacific sardine, and how are the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW’s) fishery managers helping to protect this small pelagic fish, which plays an integral role in the Pacific Ocean’s food web and in fishing communities coastwide? Continue reading

Dancing With Grunion: Not A Myth!

grunion

Adult male grunion next to female grunion (her tail hidden in the sand) during a nighttime spawning run

Along Southern California’s sandy beaches, one of the most remarkable life cycles in the sea is once again in full swing: the California grunion have come ashore to spawn. Grunion runs have been enjoyed by Southern California residents for more than 100 years, but there are still those who are skeptical of their existence. To be invited out in the middle of the night to go “dancing with grunion” does sound a little ridiculous, but in reality it’s the only way to experience this natural phenomenon. Continue reading

Available Now: Southern California Marine Protected Area Baseline Technical Reports

treefish

Treefish cruises a rocky reef off Catalina Island

Baseline monitoring of Southern California’s marine protected areas (MPAs) concluded in the summer of 2014. Following an extensive review process involving all key partners (California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Ocean Science Trust, California Ocean Protection Council, and California Sea Grant) the final technical reports detailing these baseline conditions are now available through California Sea Grant.

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From the Marine Region Manager

2014 Marine Region project summary

2014 Region Projects Summary (click image above)

As stated in our mission, science and communication are the cornerstones of everything we do in the Marine Region. On any given day, Marine Region staff can be found along California’s 1,100 mile coastline examining the ocean’s flora and fauna both under water and in the lab, engaging stakeholders through public meetings and informal discussions, and out on the docks surveying and distributing the myriad of outreach materials we produce. In 2014, we prepared a special marine issue in the 100th volume of California Fish and Game that highlighted the cutting-edge science performed by Marine Region staff. We also unveiled the new and Continue reading