Sustainable Fisheries

Fishing plays an important cultural and economic role in many coastal communities. The fishing industry is managed by rules that apply to large sections of the coast, with limited consideration of regional differences in the health and number of fish in different areas. This "one size fits all" approach can hurt the viability of the fishing industry in thriving fisheries such as Morro Bay and Port San Luis, but adequate data about past fishing activity and fishing conditions does not exist to shape these decisions at the local level.

SLOSEA's Approach: Regional Scope, Collaborative Approach

The San Luis Obispo Science and Ecosystem Alliance (SLOSEA), in conjunction with the Moss Landing Marine Laboratory, is working to support fishing communities by:

  • Increasing the involvement of the fishing community in gathering more accurate regional data on fish and improving knowledge about the health of rockfish and marine ecosystems.
  • Developing a framework and assessing the prospects for regional management policies that are tailored to address regions with abundant fish populations and ones with threatened fish populations.
  • Developing long-term relationships with fishermen, scientists and resource managers to gather input and improve management outcomes.
  • Extending SLOSEA's research collection and management tools to other areas along the Pacific Coast to improve fisheries management on a broad scale.

Better data and more effective policies will create more sustainable opportunities for commercial and recreational fishing and stability for both the fishing and port industries. The lessons learned and tools developed for the Central Coast will aid other coastal communities.