A collaborative research study funded in part by the OPC, conducted by California fishermen, The Nature Conservancy and CSU Monterey Bay found negligible effects to the seafloor in certain types of “soft” sea bottom (primarily mud and sand) on the continental shelf off central California when using small footrope trawl gear. This study adds to a growing body of literature from around the world showing trawling impacts are context dependent—they depend on the type of gear used, the types of habitats trawled and how often trawling occurs. For more information please read the peer reviewed study here. The study does not imply that all soft-bottom habitats should be open to trawling but that, with new research and technology – there are mechanisms to fine-tune fishery regulations to protect vulnerable habitats while also help to sustain local commercial fisheries.
California Ocean Protection Council Scientific Advisory Team held a public meeting on June 11th, 2014, from 10:00am – 5:00pm, at the Elihu M. Harris State of California Office Building, Room 1, 1515 Clay St., Oakland, CA, 94612.
The California Coastal Commission recently developed a report investigating the release of radioactive materials during the March 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan and the implications for residents of California. Staff findings include extremely low levels of Fukushima-derived radionuclides detected in California relative to pre-existing sources of radionuclides, and the need for more information about long-term effects of low-level radiation in the environment.
As part of implementing the California Sustainable Seafood Initiative (AB 1217 (Monning), which requires California to design and implement a voluntary sustainable seafood program, the OPC tasked the California Ocean Science Trust (OST) to conduct rapid assessments of 11 nominated fisheries (Table 1). The 11 fisheries were selected with input from staff at the OPC, the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), and the Fish and Game Commission and were chosen based on management interest, seasonal landings, economic value and likelihood of meeting sustainable seafood certification standards.
California and Oregon are joining forces to help address ocean acidification and hypoxia, a West Coast-wide threat to our shared marine and coastal ecosystems. The California Natural Resources Agency, on behalf of the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the state of Oregon to jointly sponsor a high-level science panel to help address the issue of ocean acidification and hypoxia. The West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel will provide state-level decision makers with the knowledge needed to evaluate and develop action plans for these complex issues. The science panel will also identify the research and monitoring needed to contribute to a West Coast-wide assessment of ocean acidification and hypoxia, and address information and data gaps critical to resource management decisions.
Red fish – Blue Fish
When was the last time you ate seafood? Do you know where the seafood came from, how it was caught, and whether it was from a sustainable fishery? Purchasing sustainable seafood helps to support our local coastal communities while also addressing overfishing, environmentally destructive fishing methods, and seafood fraud. We talked with Valerie Termini, project manager at the Ocean Protection Council. The California Ocean Protection Council will be working with fishermen and the seafood industry to create a sustainable seafood certification program for seafood caught in California waters.
An ocean of fun! The Banana Slug String Band is committed to educational entertainment for children and families through interactive music and performance. Their Only One Ocean CD is 14 rockin’ songs designed to inspire youngens (in age and at heart) and their families to learn about and care for the ocean. Only One Ocean was produced with support from the National Marine Educators Association, Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence, the NOAA Office of Exploration, Lawrence Hall of Science and the College of Exploration. We invite you to watch this fun video podcast with fun song clips!
Through a 2012 contract with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Kier Associates quantified the cost spent by 90 cities, large and small, in California, Oregon and Washington located along the coast or in watersheds draining to the ocean, to clean up litter and prevent trash from entering the ocean or waterways leading to it. The study finds that these West Coast communities, regardless of their size, spend an annual average $13 per resident to control litter and reduce marine debris. Nearly fifty million people live in these three states and over 85 percent of them live on the ocean or along rivers leading to it. West Coast communities are, therefore, spending more than $520,000,000 a year to combat litter and prevent marine debris. This public cost burden makes a compelling argument for accelerating the search for effective strategies to reduce and prevent trash streams that enter our waterways and contribute to marine debris.
The 2011-2012 California King Tides Initiative Highlights Report is released. This report provides an overview of the successes of the campaign from the 2011-2012 season, while highlighting by region some of the most impactful images from along the California coast during King Tide events. The report also tells of the story and involvement of five initiative participants and provides examples of sea-level rise planning efforts in CA. To view the report please click here.