California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Invertebrate Management Project

Invertebrate Management Project Team, CDFW Staff Photo

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The Invertebrate Management Project is tasked with the monitoring and sustainable management of important commercial and recreational marine invertebrate fisheries occurring primarily in the nearshore environment of California's marine waters.

One of the project's major responsibilities is implementation of the Abalone Recovery and Management Plan. The plan was authorized in 2005 and designed to recover several depleted abalone species in southern California (including red, green, pink and white abalone), and to continue to sustainably manage the healthy red abalone populations in northern California. In 2007, the project was also able to staff a team to begin assessing California spiny lobster populations. Implementation of a lobster fishery report card in 2008 has made recreational catch and effort information available to compliment the commercial logbook and market receipt databases in this important fishery.

In addition to monitoring high profile fisheries like abalone and spiny lobster, the project also focuses on collecting essential fisheries information on subtidal snails such as Lithopoma and Kelletia, bivalves including clams and mussels, red sea urchin, keyhole limpets, intertidal invertebrates (Tegula and Lottia) and sea cucumbers. While the Dungeness crab fishery is managed by the state legislature it nevertheless requires considerable staff involvement.

The Marine Invertebrate Fisheries and Conservation Laboratory, located at the University of California's Bodega Marine Laboratory in Sonoma County, also studies various marine invertebrate populations and communities to address fishery management and marine conservation concerns.