People & Place: the Human Dimensions of California Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)Understanding socioeconomic outcomes and community perspectives
Assessing Human Dimensions of
California’s Marine Protected Areas
People are an integral part of California’s coastal ecosystem, and state and federal fishery policy directs managers to consider fishing communities in their decision-making processes. To understand the dynamic relationship between people and the environment through the lens of California’s marine protected areas (MPAs), we need to understand current and historical uses of coastal resources.
To support the evaluation of California’s MPA network performance, from 2019-2021 seven studies were funded to monitor the ecosystem and human dimensions of the state’s 124 MPAs. Results of these monitoring studies will inform a 10-year management review of the MPA network, beginning in 2022.
MPA Human Uses Monitoring Study
The MPA Human Uses study involved developing an approach to assess baseline socioeconomic conditions of two human uses throughout the state of California and their relationship to the MPA network: commercial and commercial passenger fishing vessel (CPFV) fisheries.
A key goal of this study is to convey socioeconomic information, including fishermen’s perspectives, to managers and decision-makers, so that information about the unique challenges and opportunities facing fishing communities is included in discussions about MPA and fisheries management.
Dive into our Key Findings
Commercial fishing perspectives on marine protected area (MPA) outcomes
We asked commercial fishermen from up and down the California coast about the effects of MPAs on their livelihoods and beyond.
Commercial fishing perspectives on their community well-being
Read about the challenges and bright spots in California’s commercial fishing community well-being.
Commercial and CPFV fishing community perspectives on engagement in fishery management
Explore fishing community perspectives on their engagement and participation in California fishery management.
Commercial and CPFV fishing community perspectives on COVID-19 impacts and adaptations
Learn about how the COVID-19 pandemic affected California fishing communities, and how they adapted to the disruption.
Modeling commercial fishing landings at fine-scale
Check out the novel approach we developed to transform fish landings data to finer-scale resolution. Learn about shifts in fishing patterns before and after MPA implementation. Read participants’ perspectives about how specific MPAs affected their communities.
CPFV/charter boat perspectives on marine protected area (MPA) outcomes
We asked California CPFV/charter boat community members about the effects of the MPA network on their livelihoods and beyond.
CPFV/charter boat perspectives on their community well-being
Read about the challenges and bright spots in California’s CPFV/charter boat community well-being.
Commercial and CPFV fishing community perspectives on effects from specific MPAs
Read about focus group participants’ perspectives on effects to their communities from specific MPAs.
Jump into our Port Perspectives
We heard from commercial fishermen from 18 California ports, who shared their perspectives on the unique characteristics of their local ports and fishing communities. To learn about study participants’ perceptions of the strengths, challenges, and MPA outcomes at their local ports, take a look at our port focus group perspectives.
Check out our interactive MPA map
Check out our interactive MPA map to consider a modeled dataset visualizing shifts in fishing patterns around MPAs. Click on individual MPAs to read study participants’ perspectives about how specific MPAs have affected their communities.
Dive into our Fisheries Data Explorer
Dive into our Fisheries Data Explorer to investigate California’s commercial fish landings through time.
Commercial Port Focus Group Perspectives
Learn more about the perspectives from each of our port focus groups.
Project funding was administered by California Sea Grant through the California Ocean Protection Council and California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s MPA Monitoring Program.
The Project Team included Humboldt State University researchers, Ecotrust, and Strategic Earth Consulting.