California Commercial Landings Data Recovered

The Fisheries Ecology Division’s Groundfish Analysis Team completed work on a California commercial landings database covering 1931 to 2007. Landings from 1931 through 1968 were recovered using funds and services provided by the NESDIS Climate Database Modernization Program (CDMP). The recovered data, when combined with more recent landings estimates from the California Cooperative Groundfish Survey from 1969-2007, forms one of the longest detailed catch records in the US. The 1931-68 period includes monthly summaries of catches by 10-minute geographic blocks. These data are now openly available to the public for use in stock assessments and monitoring of climate effects.

Don Pearson is currently working with the California Department of Fish and Game to extend the geographic summary information to more recent years. Also, the taxa reported in the historical data are the “market categories” used by fish processors, and may involve multiple species groupings. A project has been initiated to resolve historical landings to provide best estimates for individual species.

(March 31, 2008)