California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Southern California Fisheries Research & Management Project

L to R: Biologists drag seine net onto shore. CDFW photo by B. Miller; Tagged cabezon. CDFW photo by D. Haas; Biologists prepare for a scuba dive, 1960. CDFW photo by J. Zoeger

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 late 2013, staff is characterizing hormonal changes in kelp bass related to gonad development and external environmental cues, and developing an estimate of spawning frequency. In addition, staff is also conducting a saltwater bass discard study aboard Commercial Passenger Fishing Vessels to evaluate the effectiveness of the newly implemented kelp bass and barred sand bass regulations that became effective on March 1, 2013.