Continuing the MLMA Master Plan Amendment Discussion Series

Stakeholders are invited to participate in a series of discussions to help inform and guide key components of the Marine Life Management Act (MLMA) Master Plan amendment process. The next discussion has been scheduled:

Marine Life Management Act (MLMA) Master Plan Amendment
Discussion for Interested Stakeholders

Draft Approach to Scaled Management and a Web-based Fisheries Dashboard

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 | 12:00pm-1:30pm PT

Join the call: 424-228-8722 – No PIN needed
Screen Sharing   |   
Agenda (PDF)

A halibut fishing vessel arrives at the docks in Half Moon Bay while biologists wait to sample the catch. CDFW photo by K. Lesyna

This past December, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) hosted a public conference call to provide stakeholders with a general introduction to the Marine Life Management Act (MLMA), along with an overview of the motivation, goals, and process of amending the MLMA Master Plan. Looking ahead, CDFW plans to host a number of additional information sharing discussions focused on specific topics related to the objectives of the MLMA to inform the amendment of the MLMA Master Plan.

During the upcoming call on February 1, CDFW will share details about a draft approach that aims to scale management efforts to the needs of a given fishery. A full spectrum of potential management activities is envisioned, from expanded and better-structured status reports to traditional fishery management plans (FMPs). Additionally, stakeholders will be invited to review a draft mock-up of a web-based data portal, or Dashboard, that would organize and present fisheries information in a user-friendly way.

Reference materials, including an agenda, are now available on the MLMA Master Plan webpage, and new materials may be posted in advance of the call. Additionally, a summary of discussion topics and key themes that emerge from the call will be made available online shortly after February 1.

Stay tuned for additional details about the next call in the series, to be scheduled in March 2017.

For more information about the upcoming call or the MLMA Master Plan Amendment process in general, please contact us at or visit the CDFW website.



For additional FAQs, click here.

What is the MLMA Master Plan?

The MLMA Master Plan for Fisheries (Master Plan) is a planning document that describes how California fisheries are managed. It prioritizes fisheries according to the need for comprehensive management through Fishery Management Plans. The Master Plan is intended to help focus management effort on the highest priority species and to describe the specific tools and approaches to be applied in achieving the goals of the MLMA. The current Master Plan was developed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) with input from stakeholders and adopted by the Fish and Game Commission (Commission) in 2001.

Why is the MLMA Master Plan undergoing an amendment?

The current Master Plan has not been updated in over 15 years. CDFW is in the process of amending the MLMA Master Plan to better achieve the mandates of the MLMA, the State’s primary fisheries management law. An amended Master Plan is expected to provide enhanced transparency and predictability in the state’s approach to fishery management. Furthermore, it will be designed to enable the state to apply scientific advances in fisheries management and increased understanding of socio-economic drivers and human dimensions to better support healthy marine ecosystems and sustainable fisheries.

What is driving the amendment process?

The draft “Amended Framework for MLMA-based Management” is designed to advance the specific objectives listed in Section 7056 of the MLMA. These objectives are advanced by addressing three basic needs: I) a process for prioritizing future management actions both among and within fisheries; II) a process for scaling those management actions to reflect the needs, risks, and value of each fishery together with the Department’s capacity; and III) a means of conveying up-to-date fisheries information in a way that’s easy for stakeholders, researchers, and the public to navigate and understand.

What is the draft Management Scaling Component?

Management Scaling Component Section 7070: The Legislature finds and declares that the critical need to conserve, utilize, and manage the state’s marine fish resources and to meet the policies and other requirements stated in this part require that the state’s fisheries be managed by means of fishery management plans.

The fisheries that fall under the scope of the MLMA range widely in complexity, biological characteristics, number of participants, geographic extent, availability of data, management need, and other factors. The envisioned management process is intended to incorporate this variability into the range of approaches to applying MLMA-based management, from expanded and better structured Status Reports to traditional, resource-intensive fishery management plans. The draft management scaling component of the framework seeks to match the scope and intensity of management effort with the needs and complexity of a fishery.

What is the Fisheries Web-based Dashboard?

The Web-based Fishery Dashboard Section 7050(b)(8): Promote the dissemination of accurate information concerning the condition of, or management of, marine resources and fisheries by seeking out the best available information and making it available to the public through the marine resources management process.

CDFW is exploring options for how information gathered throughout the prioritization and management processes could be housed and regularly updated on a web-based dashboard. The dashboard would be a user interface that organizes and presents information from status reports in a way that is easy to understand. While substantial time and cost may be required upfront to develop the dashboard and its underlying database, once established it should be designed to be relatively simple to maintain and update. The web-based dashboard is envisioned to help promote transparency in fisheries management, foster public engagement, and focus academic research on areas of management relevance.

post by Tom Barnes, CDFW Environmental Program Manager

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