Fishing in the Name of Science

F/V Huli Cat deckand Shannon O'Brien holds a vermilion rockfish, Sebastes miniatus, with MLML Ichthyology Lab student, Emily Donham

by Emily Donham, Ichthyology Lab

As a volunteer with the California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program (CCFRP), I had the opportunity to get up close and personal with central California’s ichthyofauna (fish species).  CCFRP’s mission is to monitor the performance of central California’s marine protected areas (MPA) by collecting data on the abundance and distribution of fishes via collaboration with the local fishing community.

MLML FIsheries and Conservation Lab student and CCFRP researcher, Cheryl Barnes, prepares to size and tag fish aboard the F/V Huli Cat

Expert volunteer anglers use standardized hook and line gear to land as many fish as they can during a survey block.  Fish are then tagged, counted and sized by CCFRP researchers before being released back into the wild.  These data are provided to fisheries managers to aid in stock assessments of economically important species.  If you’d like to learn more about CCFRP or how you can become a volunteer angler please visit: or like them on facebook at:

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