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Signs of Hope

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MPA Update California’s new marine protected areas (MPAs) are still too new for anyone to make definitive statements about their conservation success. But MARE’s deepwater surveys are serving up signs of hope!

Counting Canaries

Working with our science partners at Cal State University Monterey Bay’s Institute for Applied Marine Ecology, MARE recently completed a baseline assessment of the deep, hard to reach portions of the North Central Coast MPAs—one of California’s five new MPA regions.

We saw numerous signs of hope on the North Central Coast. Most notable were sightings of large numbers of juvenile canary rockfish. Canaries are one of six threatened fish that limit California fisheries. Protections for these fish mandate that they not be fished at all, and once a specified amount is accidentally snagged as by-catch, it stops fishing opportunities for all healthy populations.

If the MPAs work as envisioned, they will provide a refuge where these young canary ro