Fishery/Environmental Linkages: Coastal Work
Work within coastal waters focuses on coastal rockfish resources
and several aspects of their environment, including:
- analyses of historical recreational fisheries. This program is
designed to assess trends in species composition and size
distribution of the skiff and partyboat fisheries based in Monterey
and Santa Cruz. These analyses use data taken by State and
Federally funded sampling programs carried out by the California
Department of Fish and Game since the late 1950s and are nearing
- patterns in distribution of young-of-the-year rockfishes and
associated environmental factors. This is a collaborative study
with partial funding from Sea Grant. The research evaluates
distribution and relative abundance of young fishes, and associated
hydrographic data in relation to thermal fronts and upwelling
plumes in the nearshore Monterey Bay area.
- Fisheries habitat research on west coast groundfish, including
- analysis of small-scale natural refugia for commercially and
recreationally important species in the Monterey Bay submarine canyon
- applications to practical problems in fisheries management.
This is a collaborative study with partial funding from several outside
Using geophysical techniques (i.e., side scan sonar and seismic
reflection) and a manned submersible, we are assessing the importance of
deep-water submarine canyon habitats in Monterey Bay and surrounding
central California coast as natural refugia to assemblages of large species
of rockfishes. Abundance, size, and fine-scale distributions and habitat
associations are determined along short video transects from the submersible
in both lightly- and heavily-fished areas.
These acoustic remote sensing
techniques are also being evaluated for further applications to fisheries
research problems in cooperation with the USGS. Applications of this research
to fisheries management were examined at PFEL in the workshop
Marine Harvest Refugia for West Coast Rockfish.