The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recently released the Status of the Fisheries Report: An Update Through 2011, the sixth in a series of status reports required by the Marine Life Management Act. The report summarizes the status of some of California’s important marine species. The report also helps CDFW to determine if regulation changes are warranted for any of the state’s fisheries.
Species are chosen for review for various reasons, such as implementation of a new monitoring program, changes in catch levels, or new information about a species’ life history or abundance.
The latest report covers 18 species and contains a report on harmful algal blooms, including their effects on marine life and the environment. Changes to the California groundfish trawl fishery as a result of the new federal individual quota program are discussed. The new individual quota program divides the quota into small, individual quotas for each trawl permit holder instead of one large quota for the entire fleet.
The report also updates the status of spiny lobster (which recently underwent a stock assessment), surfperches (recent regulation changes were implemented in the fishery), white shark (new life history information is available), and ocean salmon (a new monitoring program has been implemented), among other species.
The Marine Life Management Act changed the way CDFW approaches management of the state’s marine resources. The goal of the act is to ensure that the marine resources of the state, and the habitats upon which they depend, are conserved and used sustainably. When species are depleted or habitats degraded, restoration is the management goal, and CDFW is expected to use the best available science to guide management efforts.
The Status of the Fisheries Report: An Update Through 2011, along with all the previous reports, is available for online viewing and printing at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/status.