|Back to Issues|
|Monterey Bay Issue Name: Ecosystem Protection Incorporate Fishing Issues into Education & Research Plans|
Several issues were raised during the scoping meetings regarding the need for the Sanctuary to better educate the public about commercial and recreational fishing in the Sanctuary. This includes providing information about the health and trends of fish stocks in the Sanctuary as well as providing information about the history of fishing in the Central Coast. This would also involve the need for the Sanctuary to conduct more research into the fisheries and changing populations, and to integrate the fishing community into the gathering of data that is used for fishery related decisions. The public also expressed concern about effects of fishing and certain gear types on MBNMS resources, habitats, and ecosystems. The fishing community and public indicated the need for more educational programs about the types of fishing that occurs within the MBNMS and the need to identify those fisheries that are healthy and sustainable. To address this issue, the MBNMS seeks to develop a program that would educate the public about fishing issues in the Sanctuary and to involve fishermen in research activities to add to the body of research available for fishery related decision making processes. More...
Additional Background Information: To learn about the types and trends of fisheries operating in the region encompassed by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary from 1981-2002, including technical concepts and information fishery scientists use to estimate population sizes of harvest species, and a summary of fishery management options, download the report by Starr and others (2002) entitled, “Trends in Fisheries and Fishery Resources Associated with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary from 1981-2000.”
Fishing Activities in the MBNMS The commercial and recreational fishing industry constitutes a key component to the economic, historical, and cultural fabric of the region. Most fishes caught within the Sanctuary are landed at one of five main ports: Princeton/Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, Moss Landing, Monterey Bay, or Morro Bay. More than 1,200 commercial vessels fish in the region annually, along with substantial recreational fishing (Starr et al. 2002). More than 200 species of invertebrates and fishes were caught in the commercial and recreational fisheries in this region from 1981-2000, with more than 70% of the commercial fish landings composed of market squid, Pacific sardine, rockfishes, Dover sole, northern anchovy, Chinook salmon, mackerel, albacore, and sablefish. The five primary gear types used are pots or traps, trawl nets, hook-and-line gear, purse seines, and gill or set nets. In 1997, marine fisheries for the counties of Marin, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, and San Francisco were valued at a total of $53 million, led by San Francisco County at more than $19 million and Monterey County at more than $14 million.
MBNMS Fisheries Related Programs Current involvement of the Sanctuary in issues related to fishing includes conducting fisheriesrelated research, sponsoring educational events, and occasionally commenting to other agencies on fishery and ecosystem management issues.
In 2001, the Sanctuary commissioned an update of the 1998 report by Starr, Cope, and Kerr.2 This new report goes beyond just providing an update of landings data through the year 2000. The different fisheries are presented using a habitat approach rather than on a species-by-species basis. Technical concepts and information that fishery scientists use to estimate the population sizes of harvested species are summarized for a general audience. A brief description of the types of fisheries operating in the region encompassed by the Sanctuary, and a summary of fishery management operations from 1981-2000 are provided. The report also provides suggestions as to why fishery landings changed over time, including changes in regulations (including gear restrictions and quotas), declines in populations, and El Niño events.Watershed Protection:
The Sanctuary has an active role in the protection of the salmon and steelhead populations of the region through preservation of the watershed habitat and water quality that sustain these species during their migration and spawning activities. This includes watershed management and outreach activities with the agricultural community, cities and counties, education of the public about salmonid life cycles and habitat threats, and citizen monitoring of water quality in streams and rivers.
Efforts with the Fishing Community:
The MBNMS Research Activity Panel (previously called the Research Advisory Committee) was formed during the Summer of 1992 by the administrations of the various marine research institutions within the region bordered by the planned Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). Today, the Research Advisory Panel (RAP) is composed of representatives from 21 research institutions and organizations. The RAP serves as a forum for discussion of research programs, to address management issues, and to disseminate research information as widely as possible. It also serves to facilitate collaboration between research groups in the MBNMS region.
The Scientific Research Plan was prepared by the Research Advisory Committee in September 1993, and outlined the goals and framework of the research program. A copy of the Scientific Research plan will be provided to the Working Group.
An Education Plan for the MBNMS does not currently exist. In August 1999, the National Marine Sanctuary System (NMSS) initiated the development of a 10-year plan for education. In July 2000, a draft plan was presented to the National Marine Sanctuary System Leadership Team, modified accordingly, and adopted. One of the objectives of the plan (Goal 2, Objective 2.2) is for each National Marine Sanctuary System site to develop a site education plan. A copy of the NMSS Education plan will be provided to the Working Group.
The education program has two new outreach programs related to ocean awareness and conservation, MERITO (Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans), and “Threatened and Thriving.” MERITO was designed in partnership with the local Hispanic community to provide expanded bilingual ocean and conservation-related outreach programs to Hispanic students, teachers, adults, and families living near the MBNMS. “Threatened and Thriving” is a public outreach campaign that compares species pairs that are either threatened or thriving. Outreach products include a calendar, posters, and public lectures.
SHORT LIST OF STRATEGIES
IN THE FISHING ISSUES ACTION PLAN
Phase II (start roughly
in year 3 – 4)
Phase III (Opportunistic)
Starr, R.M., J.M. Cope, and L.A. Kerr. 2002. Trends in Fisheries and Fishery Resources Associated with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary from 1981-2000. California Sea Grant College System Publication No. T-046, 156 p.
Many links leave the National Marine Sanctuary Web Site - please view our Link Disclaimer for more information