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Sustainable Fisheries and Marine Ecosystems

The waters off California’s coastline boast some of the most productive and diverse marine ecosystems in the world. However, California’s marine ecosystems face numerous threats, including pollution, habitat destruction, historical overfishing, bioaccumulation of toxins, and climate change. It is imperative to understand these risks in order to better protect and manage these priceless resources for current and future generations.

The California State Legislature has directed state agencies to use innovative approaches to managing California‘s fishery resources and marine ecosystems (e.g., the Marine Life Management Act of 1998 (MLMA) and the Marine Life Protection Act of 1999 (MLPA)). Over the next five years, the OPC will build on the foundation laid by the MLMA and the MLPA, and partner with the regulatory bodies charged with implementing these statutes and others to help advance ocean ecosystem management in the state.  The OPC’s goal is to promote healthy marine ecosystems and sustainable marine fisheries in order to protect California’s living coastal and ocean resources, and the communities and economic activities that rely upon them.

Supporting Sustainable Fisheries Management

Photo credit: Valerie Termini

Emerging fisheries management tools and stronger partnerships among fisheries stakeholder groups will improve marine resource agencies’ ability to understand and efficiently and effectively manage California’s fisheries. The OPC supports science-based approaches to inform fisheries management, and works with partners to advance improved governance of California fisheries. The OPC will use lessons learned from earlier initiatives to inform new and innovative approaches to fisheries management.

Initiatives

Funded Projects

Leveraging Investments and Realizing Benefits of the State’s Marine Protected Areas

Photo credit: Scott Toews

California’s network of marine protected areas (MPAs) is intended, among other goals, to protect and conserve marine life, habitat, and ecosystems, and improve recreational, educational, and research opportunities provided by marine ecosystems. In order to help achieve these goals, the OPC works with partners to effectively advance MPA management, enforcement, monitoring, education, and outreach across a broad range of public and private entities that are engaged in marine resource protection and restoration activities. The OPC coordinates MLPA implementation with other ocean management agencies to improve ocean resource management effectiveness, including adaptive management efforts informed by MPA monitoring.

Initiatives

Funded Projects

Photo credit: Scott Toews

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