The primary goal of this project was to inform long-term marine protected area (MPA) monitoring efforts by gathering up-to-date socioeconomic information to illustrate historical trends, establish a post MPA baseline, and assess initial changes since MPA implementation for the commercial fishing fleet in the South Coast region of California. To accomplish this goal our research team conducted extensive community outreach and engagement in the region and conducted in-person interviews with 114 commercial fishermen to gather post MPA baseline socioeconomic data and spatial fishing data for the year 2012. In it important to note that the interview data gathered is self-reported data and thus as with all self-reported data may be subject to recall error or under/over-reporting. Additional to the interview data gathered, we summarized commercial fishing landings data from 1992 to 2012 obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to explore historical economic trends and initial changes in South Coast commercial fisheries.
This study is a part of the baseline marine protected area monitoring effort to characterize the ecological and socioeconomic conditions and changes within the South Coast region since MPA implementation. As part of the baseline MPA monitoring effort, this report provides three sets of primary findings:
A baseline characterization of spatial fishing patterns and socioeconomic status of commercial fishermen in the South Coast region;
An assessment of initial spatial and economic changes following MPA implementation; and
A qualitative investigation into the impact of MPAs on commercial fishermen and the specific MPAs impacting commercial fisheries at the port and region scale.