Webinar Invitation: Prioritizing California’s Fisheries for Management Efforts

This post was updated on October 17, 2019.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invites Tribes and Tribal communities, stakeholders, and interested members of the public to join an informational webinar to learn about the state’s efforts to develop a list of priority fisheries as directed by the 2018 Master Plan for Fisheries: A Guide for the Implementation of the Marine Life Management Act (2018 Master Plan).

In 2015, CDFW and its partners, together with Tribes and Tribal communities, stakeholders, and interested members of the public, began revising the 2001 Marine Life Management Act (MLMA) Master Plan through the MLMA Master Plan Amendment process. In 2018, the Fish and Game Commission adopted the Master Plan and CDFW began implementing a comprehensive approach to prioritization within the framework for MLMA-based management (see page 4 of the 2018 Master Plan). Prioritizing state-managed fisheries will help CDFW to focus limited resources on the fisheries with the greatest management needs and maximize resource and ecosystem benefits.

During the webinar, CDFW staff will provide an overview of their work to move from an interim priority list in the 2018 Master Plan (see Appendix C of the 2018 Master Plan) to an updated priority list for twenty of the state’s marine finfish species and three marine invertebrate species. This priority list of fisheries reflects a more comprehensive evaluation of the risk of fishing to the ecosystem (including target species, habitat, and bycatch).

This webinar was previously scheduled for this past summer and postponed to enable CDFW to continue to refine the prioritization approach. Building off of the Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) information gathering project of the MLMA Master Plan Amendment process, CDFW has further adapted the ERA tool to be more streamlined, intuitive, and objective.

Participants are invited to learn about the evolution of the ERA tool and will be introduced to the priority list of fisheries. Using a streamlined ERA, CDFW can complete prioritization in a more timely manner and focus on addressing potential higher-risk fisheries through scaled management. CDFW will also share information on the socioeconomic filter that will be applied to the higher-priority fisheries that are the focus of management efforts moving forward.

A webinar agenda, meeting materials, and additional reference materials are available here:

Background on the information gathering projects, including those that helped inform the prioritization approach, may provide additional context for the discussion.

All interested parties are welcome to sign in to the webinar at https://www.uberconference.com/strategicearth on Thursday, October 3 at 1:00 p.m. to learn more about the state’s efforts to develop a list of priority fisheries. Contact Debbie Aseltine-Neilson, Senior Environmental Scientist Specialist, at Debbie.Aseltine-Neilson@wildlife.ca.gov with any questions about CDFW’s prioritization process or the upcoming webinar. We look forward to hearing your voices!

post by Debbie Aseltine-Neilson, CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist Specialist