The Habitat Ecology Team conducts research in direct response to the mandates of the Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act of 2006, with a focus on deep-water California demersal communities. Our goal is to provide sound scientific information to ensure the sustainability of marine fisheries and the effective management of marine ecosystems, with objectives to:
- improve stock assessments, especially of overfished rockfish species in complex habitats
- characterize fish and habitat associations to improve EFH identification
- contribute to MPA design & monitoring, and to Coast and Marine Spatial Planning
- understand the significance of deep-sea coral habitats
We use a variety of survey tools and approaches to improve our assessments of demersal fishes, macro-invertebrates (including members of deep-water coral communities), and associated seafloor habitats in water depths from 20 to 900 meters off central and southern California. Habitat-specific distribution and densities of juvenile and adult life stages of numerous Pacific Coast demersal species have been determined from non-extractive, visual surveys conducted with remotely operated vehicles (ROV), manned submersibles, scuba, laser line scan, and towed cameras, coupled with seafloor maps of the continental shelf and upper slope off California. These surveys have resulted in habitat-specific assemblage analyses on multiple spatial scales; fishery-independent stock assessments; baseline monitoring of MPAs; documentation of marine debris on the seafloor; and are being used in the California-NOAA-USGS Seafloor Mapping Program.
Our research often is conducted in collaboration with academic partners from University of California Santa Barbara, University of California Cooperative Extension Sea Grant Program, Washington State University, Oregon State University, and Stanford Research Institute Intl., and with our colleagues from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and National Marine Sanctuaries.
- A characterization of deep-sea coral and sponge communities in areas of high bycatch in bottom trawls off northern California
Yoklavich, Mary, M. Elizabeth Clarke, Tom Laidig, Erica Fruh, Lisa Krigsman, Jeff Anderson, Jeremy Taylor, and Chris Romsos. 2016. A characterization of deep-sea coral and sponge communities in areas of high bycatch in bottom trawls off northern California. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SWFSC-556 (39 p.).
- Habitat-based predictive mapping of rockfish density and biomass off the central California coast
Wedding, Lisa, and Mary M. Yoklavich. 2015. Habitat-based predictive mapping of rockfish density and biomass off the central California coast. Marine Ecology Progress Series 540:235-250.
- Pacific Coast Region
Yoklavich, Mary, and Waldo Wakefield. 2015. Pacific Coast Region. In: Our living oceans: habitat: Status of the habitat of U.S. living marine resources, p. 189-221. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-F/SPO-75.
- A comparative assessment of underwater visual survey tools: Results of a workshop and user questionnaire
Yoklavich, Mary, Jennifer Reynolds, and Dirk Rosen. 2015. A comparative assessment of underwater visual survey tools: Results of a workshop and user questionnaire. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SWFSC-547. 44 p.
- Human-occupied submersibles
Yoklavich, Mary. 2014. Human-occupied submersibles. In: Undersea Imaging Workshop (Red Bank, New Jersey, January 14-15, 2014): workshop report, p. 30-32. New Jersey Sea Grant.
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