California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program
The California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program (CCFRP) is a partnership of people and communities interested in fisheries sustainability. By combining the expertise and ideas of fishers and scientists, we have successfully established protocols to gather information for fisheries management.
What is CCFRP?
The California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program (CCFRP) is a community-based science program involving researchers from six California universities, the captains and crew of 36 sportfishing vessels, more than 1,800 volunteer anglers, and partnerships with conservation and resource management agencies. By combining the expertise and ideas of a diverse group, we have successfully established protocols to evaluate Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), the status of nearshore fish stocks, and how climate change is impacting marine resources in California.
The Marine Life Protection Act (est. 1999) requires scientific monitoring of California’s network of MPAs in order to evaluate their effectiveness as a tool for conservation and fisheries management. The CCFRP was designed to do just that! In 2006, Dr. Dean Wendt of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and Dr. Richard Starr of Moss Landing Marine Labs teamed up with members of the fishing community to form the CCFRP. The program has since expanded statewide to survey MPAs all along the California coastline from Humboldt down to San Diego. We use standardized hook-and-line surveys to catch, identify, measure, tag, and release fishes inside 16 MPAs and associated reference sites (open to fishing) statewide.
In 15 years, we have conducted close to 700 sampling trips, caught and released more than 190,000 fish from 96 different species, and tagged nearly 65,000 fishes. The project has generated estimates of relative abundance, length frequencies, biomass, diversity, community composition, and movements of fishes across the 16 MPAs and associated reference sites and contributed data to stock assessments of 9 species. We conduct extensive education and outreach to the angling community and have designed and deployed socioeconomic surveys to gather diverse information including opinions of recreational fishers about MPA performance, changes in sentiments towards MPAs following establishment, fisheries management, and attitudes towards conservation.
CCFRP has several goals:
Conduct scientifically sound research to better inform resource managers;
Collaboratively work with local fishing communities to collect fisheries data;
Provide rigorous baseline/monitoring data for the evaluation of MPA performance;
Better understand nearshore fish stocks and the ecosystems upon which they rely;
Educate the public about marine conservation, stewardship and research