Port Sampling

Collection of Regional Scale Fishery-Dependent Data

Project collaborators sampling fisherman's catch

Collection of Regional Scale Fishery-Dependent Lobster Data An important collaboration within the CALobster program is dockside sampling of commercial lobster catch. This effort is designed to help build a regional database of lobster population structure that can be used by the fishery for stock assessment and habitat-based management. Participant fishermen segregate their catch at sea and partition the load based on predetermined geographic areas (see figure). When returning to Santa Barbara harbor from trapping trips, fishermen are met by researchers and both parties work together to record the carapace length, sex and reproductive status of all lobsters (or subsamples) from each area. As sampling teams grow familiar with specific vessels, data collection is typically incorporated into the unloading process in an efficient manner. All data are maintained under an agreement of confidentiality.

Port sampling was initiated in the 2004/05 fishing season and is expected to continue in the future. It yields area-specific information on spiny lobster population structure, and is the basis for a barefoot ecology program that will incorporate electronic logbooks. Port sampling is a departure from traditional fishery sampling methods in which management agencies collect data, usually from a limited geographic area, and extrapolate the data across an entire geographic region. CALobster aims to collect data from all areas fished.

Map of Channel Islands
Port sampling sub-regions, fishermen sort their catch according to green and red lines as drawn on the above map.


Matt Kay
Phone: (805) 893-5054
Email: kay@lifesci.ucsb.edu

Project Timeline

Started in 2004-05 Season and is ongoing


  • Bren Group Project Members 2005
  • Santa Barbara Harbor Commercial Lobster Fleet


The California Environmental Quality Initiative