Through its goals, objectives, policies, and mandates, the Marine Life Management Act of 1998 (MLMA) provides a general framework for developing management programs for California's nearshore finfish fisheries. At the core of the MLMA is the principle of basing decisions on the best available scientific information. The MLMA acknowledges that CDFW has compiled a considerable amount of valuable regional time-series surveys over the years using well-documented sampling methods. Preliminary review of some of these data indicates that these survey results may have substantial value for nearshore fishery management.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Central California Marine Sport Fish Survey (Refugia Project) has collected both fishery-dependent and fishery-independent data on nearshore sport fish species along the central California coast since its inception in 1957 and continuing though 2006. These research and monitoring efforts included: sport and commercial creel surveys; hook-and-line tagging surveys to assess fish movement; underwater surveys using scuba to assess numbers, sizes and habitat associations of young-of-the-year and adult fishes; life history studies of the age, morphometric, meristic, somatic and reproductive characteristics of finfish species; oceanographic surveys; and bottom mapping. Much of this information is summarized and published in Department in-house reports, scientific journals and online sites (Refugia Products). However, the digitized and edited "raw data", related metadata, collection procedures and photographic documentation from these products are not readily accessible by the scientific community or fisheries researchers and managers. The goal of this effort is to provide centralized access to all Refugia Project datasets and their documentation. Hopefully, this information will be a valuable resource for the future protection and enhance of our marine resources and to serve as a baseline in assessing the effectiveness of marine protected areas.
Read a more detailed project history
Refugia Project Databases and Datasets
- Menu driven ACCESS database and summaries of fishery independent hook-and-line surveys conducted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Refugia Study along the central California coast, 1978-1998 (Complete report). DOWNLOAD
- Menu driven ACCESS database and summaries of creel survey data of Cencal spearfish competitions in northern and central California, 1958-2006. DOWNLOAD
- Menu driven ACCESS database and summaries of creel survey data of commercial nearshore skiff fishermen in Big Sur, Monterey County, 1997-2001. DOWNLOAD
- Menu driven ACCESS database and summaries of creel survey data of recreational skiff fishermen at the Monterey Coast Guard Ramp, Monterey County, 1981-2000. DOWNLOAD
- Fishery independent and dependent datasets and associated metadata collected by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Refugia Study in northern and central California, 1958-2006. DOWNLOAD