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Research Technical Report

The Life Histories of Nearshore Fishes of California: a Data Matrix Review of Existing Literature

Cailliet, G.M., E.J. Burton, J.M. Cope, L.A. Kerr, and R.N. Lea (December 2000)

Presentation at the Western Society of Naturalists Annual Meeting, Portland, Oregon.


As part of the recent Marine Life Management Act, the California Department of Fish and Game is required to produce a Fishery Management Plan for the nearshore region as described in the Nearshore Fisheries Management Act. This requires the compilation of a list that includes the species of fishes for which size limits are prescribed in the Act and other vulnerable species, and a detailed analysis of existing knowledge of the life history (age, growth, age at maturity, age composition, habitat utilization, reproduction, recruitment, trophic relationships, population health, and stock structure, including genetics) of nearshore fish species, especially those subject to the newly developing live fish (premium) fishery. We compiled a list of 124 species currently taken in California's nearshore fishery and others that could be particularly vulnerable. In addition, we thoroughly surveyed the existing literature, directed by a life history parameter questionnaire, and constructed a life history data matrix of the nearshore fish species on the list. Many gaps in the existing knowledge have been identified, and specific research projects initiated on such subjects as age and size at maturity, age validation, genetics, and mobility of fish stocks subject to the nearshore fisheries of California. It is hoped that this project will be useful to those involved with the management of nearshore fisheries, and will be complimented by additions from future literature on the life histories of these fishes.

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Reviewed: April 11, 2024
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