Monitoring California’s Deep Water Marine Protected Areas

The SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division’s Habitat Ecology Team and colleagues completed the 2008 IMPACT Submersible Baseline Survey, the second year of monitoring marine protected areas (MPAs) in deep water off central California. The team made 175 dives and conducted 385 quantitative transects from the manned submersible Delta to survey all demersal fishes, structure-forming invertebrates, and habitats from 24 to 365 meters deep inside and out of newly designated MPAs in Monterey Bay and along the Big Sur coast. This multi-year baseline will be used in the future to critically evaluate the effectiveness of the new MPAs by assessing changes in the diversity, density, and size composition of species using seafloor habitats in these areas.

The program is a collaborative effort among researchers from the SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division, the UC Cooperative Extension Sea Grant Program, Washington State University, UC Santa Barbara, and SRI International. Funding is provided by the California Ocean Protection Council, California Department of Fish and Game, Sea Grant, and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

See the results of last year's IMPACT survey: /publications/FED/00914.pdf

(November 7, 2008)