An innovative collaboration has developed between local trap fishermen and scientists at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The partnership, called CALobster (www.CALobster.org), has ambitious long-term and short-term goals.
The long-term goals include involving fishermen in fisheries research and management, ensuring the sustainability of lobster populations, and maintaining working harbors. In addition, CALobster is building an education program to train graduate students in community-based fisheries management. The community includes fishermen, scientists, managers, environmental groups, and general public.
A series of short-term studies have been conducted to support the longer-term goals. They include assessment of a recent and controversial management decision to establish no-take fishing reserves at the Channel Islands.
Research conducted by CALobster will be presented at an upcoming special symposium Friday morning. Entitled The First Five Years of Monitoring the Channel Islands Marine Protected Area Network, the symposium, free and open to the public, is at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel and Resort, 2101 Mandalay Beach Road in Oxnard. The program agenda is available at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/channel_islands/specialsession.asp
Hunter Lenihan, a professor at UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School and a CALobster researcher, explained that the results to be presented at the symposium are preliminary because analyses and sampling are on-going. Nevertheless, patterns observed so far are very interesting, according to Lenihan.
“Lobster populations inside reserves tend to have greater proportions of individuals of large sizes,” said Lenihan. “Traps deployed inside reserves consistently had equal or higher average catch rates than those outside reserves, with some exceptions.”
In addition, trapping conducted by Matt Kay, a UC Santa Barbara graduate student and CALobster co-founder, and fisherman Chris Miller, another co-founder, explain that larger lobsters, once feared to be completely fished-out, are present in the Channel Islands both inside and outside of reserves.
Intensive monitoring of the lobster population began two years ago. Kay cautioned that lack of data on the lobster population structure before reserve implementation limits the ability to interpret the differences we see today.
“This lack of ‘before’ data undermines our ability to identify reserve effects unequivocally,” said Kay. “For example, the trends in population structure and trap yield we observed may be driven by habitat characteristics, since some traditionally high-yielding reefs were placed inside reserves. CALobster provides a starting point for monitoring reserve impacts on spiny lobster. We recommend that monitoring of marine resources precede future reserve implementation in California.”
Efforts by the collaboration to help develop community-based research to inform management are on-going. Of special concern is creating lower-cost, more effective forms of management that involve all stakeholders.
“The grass roots of the community must be involved,” said Lenihan. “After all, we all eat fish. In particular, many of us choose to eat local fish, meaning that we must sustain local fisheries. We cannot just conserve lobster populations but we must focus on conserving fishing communities.” Kay added: “It’s important to remember that working harbors not only have economic value, but also contribute to the character of coastal communities.”
According to the CALobster website: “CALobster provides a forum for fishermen, together with scientists, managers, and others, to participate productively in fisheries and reef ecology, data collection, and other research activities designed to advance spatially-explicit stock assessments, ecosystem-based and zonal-based management, and the conservation of fishing cultures. We are a collaboration of marine stakeholders, including especially the California Lobster and Trap Fishermen's Association (CLTFA) and UC Santa Barbara marine scientists.”
CALobster is training students in multi-disciplinary approaches to fishery ecology and fisheries co-management. According to the website: “This is possible only with the participation of committed mentors, including fishermen, ecologists, economists, anthropologists, trades people and craftsmen, policy makers, managers, and philosophers.”
Some scientists and managers point out that the increase in the California spiny lobster population in the marine reserve network is an indicator that marine protected areas can be an effective tool in ecosystem health. “All these MPA monitoring studies advance a broad understanding of how coastal ocean ecosystems respond to changes in management,” said John Ugoretz of the California Department of Fish and Game.
Gail Gallessich | EurekAlert!
Loss of habitat causes double damage to species richness
02.04.2019 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Deep decarbonization of industry is possible with innovations
25.03.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
The human eye is particularly sensitive to green, but less sensitive to blue and red. Chemists led by Hubert Huppertz at the University of Innsbruck have now developed a new red phosphor whose light is well perceived by the eye. This increases the light yield of white LEDs by around one sixth, which can significantly improve the energy efficiency of lighting systems.
Light emitting diodes or LEDs are only able to produce light of a certain colour. However, white light can be created using different colour mixing processes.
Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.
Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...
A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter
A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.
Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...
The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks
Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
09.04.2019 | Event News
24.04.2019 | Life Sciences
24.04.2019 | Life Sciences
24.04.2019 | Life Sciences