Southern California Fisheries Research and Management Project

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Both fishery-dependent and fishery-independent data are used to make informed management decisions regarding marine resources. Fishery-dependent data rely on direct observations of the fishery through market sampling, on-board observer programs, landing receipts, and logbooks. Fishery-independent data, on the other hand, rely on direct observations of species, populations, and ecosystems.

Fishery-independent research and monitoring collects essential fishery information (or "EFI"). EFI is information about the biology, ecology, and harvest of a fish species, and is important for sustainable fisheries management. Some examples of EFI include indices of abundance, total mortality, movement patterns, spawning behavior, fecundity, reproductive potential, age, and growth.

Fishery-independent data are collected using a variety of methods and equipment. Fishing surveys (trawls or other nets), underwater surveys (scuba), and mark-recapture efforts (tags) are often used to collect information. Fishery-independent methods collect standardized information on all life stages of a species, not just information on species that are marketable or utilized by a fishery.

The Southern California Fisheries Research and Management Project staff work in southern California in the city of Los Alamitos. As of early 2017, staff are involved in a range of projects. Hormonal changes are being characterized in kelp bass as they relate to gonad development and external environmental cues, and to develop an estimate of spawning frequency. Age and growth parameters are being determined for both barred sand bass and kelp bass. A saltwater bass discard study is being conducted aboard Commercial Passenger Fishing Vessels to evaluate the effectiveness of the kelp bass and barred sand bass regulations that became effective on March 1, 2013. Staff are also conducting a multi-year study to evaluate the size at maturity of white seabass. In summer 2017 staff are trialing fishery-independent methods for assessing the abundance of adult barred sand bass.