The overarching goal this project is to form a partnership between scientists, stakeholders, managers, and volunteers to generate information on baseline levels of abundance, size distribution, behavior, and consumptive use of one of California’s most valuable fishery species, the California spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus). Researchers will quantify lobster density inside and outside MPAs in San Diego and Orange Counties, and link lobster density and distribution to habitat features. A key component of this project is a collaboration with members of the California Lobster Trap Fishermen’s Association to implement a tag-recapture program to generate estimates of lobster abundance at large spatial scales as well as size distribution and rates of movement across MPA boundaries (spillover). Researchers will focus on quantifying and characterizing lobster movement behavior , on using lobster catch records from stakeholders and the Department of Fish and Game to determine landings and catch per unit effort (CPUE), and document short-term changes in fishing effort and efficiency due to MPA establishment.

Project leaders

Doug Neilson / California Department of Fish and Game
Ed Parnell / Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Kevin Hovel / San Diego State University

Project collaborators

Travis Buck / California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Amalia DeGrood / San Diego State Univeristy

Additional resources