Rapid Assessments for Selected California Fisheries

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.

The purpose of the rapid assessments is not to determine the sustainability of a fishery, but rather to provide a preliminary look at how much information is available about a fishery and to identify data gaps that could inform management. The MSC framework used in rapid assessments provides a useful tool for this and can possibly help managers identify critical research questions and potential fishery improvement projects. All assessments (with the exception of albacore tuna) went through multiple rounds of review by fishery scientists from DFW and NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center, as well as other experts close to the fishery. Albacore tuna was not reviewed; this fishery is currently MSC certified and a full assessment is publicly available from 2010.

Table 1: The 11 selected fisheries, gear and regions

Unit Species Gear Region
1 Albacore tuna Pole and line All
2 Albacore tuna Troll and jig All
3 California halibut Bottom trawl Central
4 California halibut Bottom trawl Southern
5 Dungeness crab Trap All
6 Herring (Pacific roe) Gill net SF Bay
7 Market squid Seine (Purse and Drum) All
8 Market squid Brail All
9 Pink shrimp Trawl Northern
10 Pink shrimp Trawl Southern
11 Sablefish Longline IFQ All
12 Sablefish Trap IFQ All
13 Sablefish Trawl IFQ All
14 Sardine, Pacific Purse seine All
15 Spiny lobster Trap All
16 Swordfish, Pacific Harpoon Southern
17 White seabass Small mesh drift gillnet All


Reports available for download:

Guide to the rapid assessments

Entire Rapid Assessments (10 MB)

Or by each fishery

Albacore Tuna

– California Halibut

Dungeness Crab


Market Squid

Pink Shrimp


Sardine, Pacific

Spiny Lobster

Swordfish, Pacific

White Seabass


Categories: Sustainable Fisheries and Marine Ecosystems