Foundational fishery parameters for macroinvertebrates of southern California rocky reefs
California spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus), wavy turban snails (Megastraea undosa), Kellet’s whelks (Kelletia kelletii), giant keyhole limpets (Megathura crenulata), red sea urchins (Mesocentrotus fransiscanus), and purple sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) are key species of invertebrates found in the rocky reefs and kelp forests of southern California. Several are emerging fisheries and their value has increased greatly in recent decades. However, little is known about their life histories, population dynamics and community structure. For most, foundational fishery parameters have never been established which makes fisheries difficult to manage effectively. The Vantuna Research Group at Occidental College has monitored their populations since 2008.
The VRG records abundance and distribution, and collects length-frequency data for each species, but has historically not established standardized length-mass relationships or attempted to extrapolate biomass from length-frequency and morphometric data. I am working with the VRG to record mass as well as length frequency data and to establish foundational fishery parameters for these species, which will be useful for managing and assessing the health of these invertebrate species. A reliable understanding of community structure and population dynamics is essential for fishery management and conservation.