Comparing pre- and post- RCA Closure Data

Comparing pre- and post- RCA Closure Data

From 1987 to 1998, the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) placed staff on sportfishing boats to record fishing effort, species caught and length information of fishes captured from pre-RCA fishing grounds.  In conjunction with NMFSCordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary and CDFG, the Fisheries & Conservation Biology Lab at MLML conducted similar research fishing trips off Cordell Bank, the Farallon Islands and Half Moon Bay to assess potential changes in catch rates, species compositions and lengths of fishes since the RCA closure.  We reproduced CDFG's survey protocols (1987-1998) and compared newly collected data (2012-2014) with those from the study conducted over a decade ago.  This not only enabled a comparison of pre- and post-closure conditions, but  also provided an opportunity to assess the efficacy of this RCA closure by evaluating its impact on rockfish populations from central California over time.

You can view a summary of our preliminary data here

We published results of this study in CalCOFI : Changes in size composition and relative abundance of fishes in central California after a decade of spatial fishing closures. California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations. Vol. 56, 2015

and presented at several conferences:

RCA survey data presented at the Sanctuary Currents Symposium in 2015 and the CalCOFI Conference in 2014

RCA survey data presented at the Western Groundfish Conference in 2014