Events & Media: Jono Wilson PhD Defense

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara


A PhD Defense

Jono Wilson

Tuesday, May 3, 2011
3:00 PM
Bren Hall 1414

"Marine Reserves and the Management of Nearshore Fisheries"

Faculty Advisor: Hunter Lenihan


Small-scale nearshore fisheries employ 98% of the world’s fishermen and supply more than half of the world’s annual fish catch. A majority of these fisheries are either fully exploited, overexploited, or have few data with which to determine their status. Development of techniques to overcome management limitations is needed to assure both biological and economic sustainability of the world’s fisheries. No-take marine reserves are increasingly recognized as potential fisheries management tools, yet there are relatively few ways in which reserves are used to manage fisheries. The objective of my research was to develop a framework for using marine reserves in the assessment and management of small-scale nearshore fisheries. I developed marine reserve-based management models that utilize data from inside and outside of reserves to assess the status of a fishery, and to calculate recommended catch levels. Simulation testing was performed to demonstrate the robustness of the models under data-limited conditions with associated high uncertainty.  In 2008-2009, I conducted field research with commercial fishermen in the Santa Barbara Channel to collect essential fishery information for the data-limited nearshore grass rockfish (Sebastes rastrelliger) fishery inside and outside of a network of marine reserves at the northern Channel Islands, CA.  These data were applied to the management models to assess the status of the fishery in the Santa Barbara Channel, to evaluate the appropriate spatial scale of management, and to estimate the conservation and yield benefits that accrue by accounting for the buildup of biomass within marine reserves.