Blog Post
by Errin Ramanujam / California Ocean Science Trust
  • Errin Ramanujam / California Ocean Science Trust
  • Hayley Carter / California Ocean Science Trust, San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival

Exploring Ecological Risk Assessments to Support Fisheries Management in California

June 08, 2017


Over the past 18-months, Ocean Science Trust (OST) has assisted the state in exploring a number of topic areas and research questions for consideration as part of the Marine Life Management Act (MLMA) Master Plan amendment process. One of these projects is focused on exploring a class of tools called ecological risk assessments (ERAs) which are designed to inform fisheries management prioritization, an important component of the Draft Amended Framework for MLMA-based Management. This project involves pilot testing two different risk assessment tools. We are excited to share our findings and hear feedback at two upcoming workshops in California.

For the first pilot project, OST engaged a consultant team, MRAG Americas, and worked with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to conduct a NOAA Productivity Susceptibility Analysis (PSA) on 45 fisheries (each composed of a species/sector/gear type combination), representing 36 California state-managed marine species. The second pilot project involves a customization of an ERA for California based on a tool developed by NOAA Fisheries (Samhouri and Levin, 2012) that expands upon the goals and objectives of the PSA. This ERA pilot seeks to evaluate the relative risk a fishery may cause to the target stock, bycatch species, and marine and coastal habitats.

As part of this process, two stakeholder workshops will be held in June and July to learn about draft ERA scoring for five pilot species and provide feedback on the tools related to CDFW and stakeholder priorities. Additionally, the preliminary PSA results will be discussed.


Workshop Information

Southern California

Thursday, June 15
Veteran’s Park Community Center
101 E 28th St
Long Beach, CA 90806
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Northern California

Thursday, July 27
Justice Joseph A. Rattigan Building
50 D St (at First St.)
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Both workshops will follow the same agenda here. Additional information about the workshops, including an agenda and reference materials, is available here.

RSVP’s are requested. Those interested in attending are welcome to RSVP to Strategic Earth Consulting (  


CDFW Resources

Visit here for additional information about the MLMA Master Plan Amendment process, including timelines, FAQs, and additional opportunities for stakeholder engagement.



Questions? Contact Errin Ramanujam,


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