The Fisheries Ecology Division’s Habitat Ecology Team successfully completed the first leg of a 43-day cruise surveying fishes, structure-forming invertebrates, habitats, and marine debris associated with the seafloor inside and outside eight newly designated Marine Protected Areas off the central California coast. The cruise is a collaborative effort among researchers at NMFS, UC Davis, Washington State University, UC Santa Barbara, and SRI (St. Petersburg, FL).
This research is of mutual interest and benefit to both state and federal management agencies. While specifically addressing California's need to monitor these newly created MPAs, this research also contributes to NMFS's responsibilities to identify and conserve essential fish habitats and to collect data that will serve to improve stock assessments. (October 2, 2007)