Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Hancock Foundation Building (AHF), 153/Torrey Webb Room
3616 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089
More Big Fish, Restoring the Southern California Rocky Reef Ecosystem
Southern California has one of the most dynamic and productive marine rocky-reef ecosystems in the world. Its characteristic giant kelp beds are a visual reminder from the surface of the majestic expanse found below. Unfortunately, despite its potential we have observed decades of chronic decline in ecosystem health and services. This decline in health for rocky reefs and kelp beds is a result of pollution, habitat loss and overfishing and is particularly problematic for coastal communities where the loss of commercial and recreational fishing opportunities has negatively affected the economy of the region. Traditional management actions can have positive changes, are generally passive (like changing a fishery regulation) but usually work on multi-year to multi-decadal time scales. While my research has highlighted these positive longterm impacts including the return of ‘big fish’ (giant seabass, white seabass, leopard shark, soupfins etc.), my current research is focused on creating solutions that work in short time scales, what I refer to as active management. My colleagues and I are currently developing and implementing a variety of restoration and enhancement techniques to restore the Southern California rocky reef ecosystem using the Palos Verdes Peninsula as the starting point for the region. To support the science behind understanding the efficacy of these technique, I focus on developing ecosystem-based spatial and timeseries models primarily utilizing marine fishes to evaluate and improve our restoration efforts. Considering the challenges our coastline continues to face, immediately improving the health of our rocky-reef ecosystem and associated fisheries is paramount.