Alec MacCall and John Field (SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division) attended a meeting of the Density Ratio working group in Santa Barbara on February 23-24, 2009. This group has been modeling and evaluating the policy implications of using marine protected areas as reference sites for data poor fisheries (e.g., nearshore groundfish).
Several members of the group have been evaluating the feasibility of such methods using management strategy evaluations. Although these simulation studies have uncovered some potential problems in implementing such an approach, they generally suggest that it is tractable and may hold promise. Other members of the working group have been evaluating the institutional barriers that would challenge such management regimes, with a particular focus on how co-management systems for marine resources could be defined and implemented.
Three meetings of this group, in addition to summer support for a graduate student, have been supported by the MPA Science Center over the last two years, but support has now been exhausted. Several members of the group have therefore begun to investigate alternative sources of funding to continue the effort. The meeting included participants from NOAA (FED/SWFSC and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary), the California Department of Fish and Game, the University of Washington, the University of California Santa Barbara, Hopkins Marine Station, Pew Charitable Trusts, Commonweal, and Environmental Defense.
(March 2, 2009)