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Channel Islands Finfish

Collaborative research and co-management strategies for data-poor fisheries


SFG Postdoctoral Researcher Jono Wilson has been working with the near-shore finfish fishery in the Santa Barbara Channel to collect essential fishery information and evaluate different management strategies for data-poor fisheries.  Over a three year period, Jono and several commercial fishermen tagged and released over 5000 near-shore fish dominated by grass rockfish (Sebastes rastrelliger) and cabezon (Scorpaenichthys marmoratus).  Sampling sites were located inside and outside of a network of marine reserves at the Channel Islands (marine reserve network shown below in red).

jono_channelislands.pngData from this study indicated that grass rockfish populations exhibit variability in life history traits (e.g., growth rate) and demographic rates (e.g., mortality rate) across the network of reserves according to productivity of the region. Management actions that match the scale of population variability and incorporate information from within reserves can improve fisheries yields while meeting strict conservation requirements.  The simple models developed in this work use data that are easily collected by fishermen or local community members and have application to data-poor fisheries throughout the world.