The Giant Kelp and Bull Kelp Enhanced Status Report, or Kelp ESR, is now available on the California Marine Species Portal. The Kelp ESR is the first for marine algae species and one of 34 produced by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) since 2018 to help guide future fisheries management as required by the Marine Life Management Act Master Plan for Fisheries.
The report provides an overview of: the two kelp species; the “fishery”; management and restoration actions; monitoring, and essential fishery information needs. It also identifies future management directions and needs for both bull kelp and giant kelp throughout California.
Kelp restoration has become a high priority in California and elsewhere due to its potential as an adaptive management tool. The Kelp ESR describes how the Kelp Recovery Research Program funded by California Sea Grant, CDFW, and the Ocean Protection Council will help fill identified knowledge gaps in kelp restoration. While the Kelp ESR will serve as a foundation for developing the State’s Kelp Restoration and Management Plan, it will also remain a foundational management document itself and will be updated periodically to reflect current landings and trends.
Prior to its completion, the Kelp ESR was reviewed by kelp experts from state, federal, academic, and non-governmental agencies and includes information from California Native American Tribes and kelp harvesters.
The Kelp ESR was developed in partnership with California Sea Grant, led by California Sea Grant’s Kelp Management Extension Fellow Dr. Gina Contolini, who worked closely with CDFW staff Rebecca Flores Miller and James Ray.
post by Dr. Gina Contolini, California Sea Grant Kelp Management Extension Fellow