Scientific Collecting in MPAs

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The Scientific Collecting Permitting Portal is unavailable at this time.

Scientific collection may be allowed within all marine protected area (MPA) designations for the purpose of research, restoration and monitoring; however, actual collection is dependent upon receiving a Scientific Collecting Permit. As specified in California Fish and Game Code and Title 14, California Code of Regulations (Sections 1002 and 650, respectively), a Scientific Collecting Permit is required when take1 or possession of fish and wildlife occurs for research, educational, or propagation purposes.

Effective on October 1, 2018, the SCP program implemented regulatory changes to Section 650(opens in new tab) and Section 703(opens in new tab), Title 14, California Code of Regulations. Changes include a new online application system through the scientific collecting permit portal(opens in new tab) and two permit types- General Use and Specific Use.

  • The ‘General Use’ permit is restricted to areas outside MPAs, more common species, non-invasive methods, and is intended for more streamlined review.
  • The ‘Specific Use’ permit covers a broader range of species, more invasive procedures, and sensitive locations within marine managed areas, including MPAs.

For further information on the application process and new permits please visit the CDFW Scientific Collecting Permits page.

1Take is defined in Section 86, California Fish and Game Code as "hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill, or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill." Additionally, Section 650, Title 14, California Code of Regulations clarifies that takes also includes "capturing, marking, and releasing any animal."