Date of Award

3-2020

Degree Name

MS in Biological Sciences

Department

Biological Sciences

College

College of Science and Mathematics

Advisor

Dean Wendt

Advisor Department

Biological Sciences

Advisor College

College of Science and Mathematics

Abstract

Stock assessments are statistical models which characterize the state of a population of fish. Data for stock assessment models of West Coast nearshore groundfish come largely from fisheries-dependent sources. Incorporating fisheries-independent data would increase data availability. A potential source of fisheries-independent data which is comparable to existing fisheries-dependent data is the California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program (CCFRP), a Marine Protected Area (MPA) monitoring study. We are interested in understanding the context in which CCFRP could be implemented into assessments of nearshore groundfish, specifically rockfish. To investigate this, we used management-relevant metrics to examine three questions concerning the implementation of CCFRP as a data source: whether the scope of the project captures the core depth distribution of a species, whether the methodology of the project affects assessment metrics, and how the presence of data from MPAs affects assessment metrics. Comparisons were made for three species with different life histories and desirability in the recreational groundfish fishery: Blue rockfish (Sebastes mystinus), Vermilion rockfish (S. miniatus), and Gopher rockfish (S. carnatus). Based on these metrics and comparisons, we found that the specific method of potential implementation of fisheries-independent data into stock assessments is highly species dependent, but all species could benefit. Implementing this data will lead to better-informed management, ensuring that these populations persist.

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