In summer 2013, the Vantuna Research Group conducted otter trawl surveys of the soft-bottom marine habitats in southern California.

The last time the Vantuna Research Group did this work (Bight '08), we did 9 trawls off of Oceanside and 19 in the Santa Barbara Channel.  This year we are responsible for completing 36 trawls all in the Santa Barbara Channel and the Northern Channel Islands. We have broken down our research cruises into two seperate trips. All six of our undergraduate research students are able to take part in these surveys, with three on each trip that will be responsible for the nightly blogging. Since these trips are only contracted every 5 years, this is a once in a lifetime experience for students! We will spend 5-7 days and nights onboard the RV Yellowfin in remote locations in the northern Bight identifying fish and invertebrates, and collecting data.

Photos from the Bight '08 trip

More about the Bight program

The Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring Program is currently conducted in five-year cycles and has involved over 100 different stakeholder organizations. This program has been useful in monitoring trends over time, as well as establishing regional reference conditions, developing new environmental assessment tools, standardizing data collection approaches in southern California, and providing a support network for special studies. The Bight '13 survey will examine five major research areas including: Coastal Impact Assessment (sediment condition), Nutrients (water column condition), Beach Quality (microbiological condition), Marine Protected Areas (rocky reef condition), and Trash and Debris (especially plastics). 

This survey is conducted every five years to study the soft-bottom fishes of the Southern California Bight.  The purpose of the study is to see if the fish and invertebrate assemblages (and potentially pathogens and parasites) are changing over time in response to pollution. 

Contact Marine Biology
Bioscience Building