California Agriculture, July-August 1997
Volume 51, Number 4
California Sea Grant: Taking stock of 25 years
peer-reviewed research articles
Sustaining ocean fisheries poses challenge for resource managers
by Christopher M. Dewees
California is one of the world's most productive and intensely harvested marine fisheries areas. Increased fishing, habitat degradation, expanding human population and decreases in water quality and quantity have put great stress on the state's coastal marine resources. Research and extension activities funded by California Sea Grant, DANR and the California Resources Agency focus on improving the methods and policies needed to manage fisheries. Significant changes in the way we manage these resources are likely to occur in the 21st century.
Salmon restoration depends on improved habitat
by Jim Waldvogel
Abstract Not Available – First paragraph follows: The streams and rivers that California's salmon and trout call home during the freshwater portion of their life cycle have deteriorated over the past 50 years, resulting in decreases in the populations of these salmonids. Habitat deterioration and population changes are caused by natural occurrences (floods, fires, El Niños, drought, predators and changing ocean conditions); land-use practices (mining, timber harvest, highway construction, agriculture, grazing and urban development); increases in fishing effort; and major diversions of water resources and the damming of rivers.
Aquaculture boosts urchin roe production
by Susan McBride
Abstract Not Available – First paragraph follows: Red sea urchins, with their hedge-hoglike shells and five skeins of edible golden roe, are a gourmet treat, especially in Asia. Each year California divers harvest as many as 25 million pounds of the red sea urchins that many people find delicious and for which they are willing to pay dearly.
Marine Protected Areas should be managed with greater integration
by Deborah A. McArdle
Abstract Not Available – First paragraph follows: Like their counterparts on land, protected areas in U.S. coastal waters are numerous and complex. California alone has 104 marine protected areas (MPAs). MPAs carry a variety of names. State-designated sites are called areas of special biological significance, coastal sanctuaries, ecological reserves, marine refuges, marine reserves, marine resource protection act ecological reserves, natural reserves or simply parks. Federal sites are called national marine sanctuaries, national parks or ecological preserves. International sites include Man and Biosphere Reserves.
Human activities, climate changes affect marine populations
by Louis W. Botsford
Upwelling of nutrient-rich waters makes California's coastal ocean one of the most productive in the world. Better understanding of the year-to-year changes in populations due to El Niños, and recent awareness of decade-to-decade widespread changes in the ocean and atmosphere, have improved our ability to project the effects of fishing and climate change on marine populations. On smaller scales, we are also finding that weekly changes in upwelling winds cause coastal currents to deliver planktonic larvae to the coast in spatial patterns. Additional research is vitally needed to reduce the uncertainty in population prediction that allows political pressure to lead to overfishing and confounds recovery planning for endangered species such as salmon.
Advanced technology provides insight into marine habitats
by Richard M. Starr
Abstract Not Available – First paragraph follows: The pattern of boom and bust in major commercial fisheries has occurred many times around the world, and always with major economic consequences. A classic example is the sardine fishery in Monterey Bay. At the sardine fishery apex in the 1930s and 1940s, more than 100 vessels harvested 700,000 tons of sardines and sold them to 19 canneries and 20 reduction plants — the largest assemblage of seafood processors in the Western Hemisphere. By 1952 the sardine population had plummeted, the fishery had collapsed and most of the canneries had closed.
Sea Grant seeks new drugs from the sea
by William Fenical
After more than 20 years of leadership in the field of marine drug discovery, Sea Grant researchers are now demonstrating that marine organisms are an excellent source of new drugs. New treatments have been discovered for arthritis and cancer, and novel molecular probes have been commercialized that allow studies of previously unknown cellular processes. Through patenting and licensing, UC has begun to receive significant royalties for these discoveries. As this field matures, it has become clear that the world's oceans contain an enormous wealth of medical information that will continue to contribute to the discovery of new cures for human disease.
Marine bacteria: A better cleaner-upper?
by Rosemary Amidei
Abstract Not Available – First paragraph follows: The application of marine biotechnology to environmental problems represents an area of potentially great importance — both environmental and economic — to California and the nation. Research in this field could lead to a range of new processes and products, from identifying harmful bacteria in the ocean to monitoring toxic substances such as pesticides in the environment.
Monitoring and proper handling ensure seafood safety
by Robert J. Price, Pamela D. Tom
Addressing seafood safety concerns through research and technology transfer is a major objective of the California Sea Grant Extension Program. Currently a major emphasis of the Sea Grant Extension Program is educating the seafood industry about the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system. Proper cooking destroys viruses, bacteria and parasites that can contaminate seafood. However, seafood may also contain natural toxins that are not destroyed by heat, such as the scombroid toxin formed by histamines in spoiled fresh albacore and other tunalike species. This paper provides an overview of seafood-borne illness; naturally occurring toxins in seafood; Sea Grant Extension efforts to assist the industry in complying with a new federal seafood safety regulation; and ongoing seafood safety projects.
Sidebar: Raw delicacies come with risks
Abstract Not Available – First paragraph follows: The idea of eating a raw chicken breast or a slice of raw beef holds no appeal for most people, yet raw fish and shellfish are popular foods. In a recent survey of Californians, 23% of the respondents reported that they ate raw shellfish, and one-third of those reported eating raw shellfish once a month.
Aquatic and land-based agriculture share vital water resources
by Paul G. Olin
Abstract Not Available – First paragraph follows: Tomales Bay and the surrounding watersheds provide a window into efforts to improve coastal water quality by controlling nonpoint-source pollution. A variety of programs are helping to maintain viable livestock and dairy operations in coastal Marin County, while keeping water quality high enough to support the oyster culture industry that has been a part of the region's agriculture since the turn of the century.
editorial, news, letters & science briefs
Sea Grant key to resolving state's coastal dilemmas
by W.R. Gomes
Focus on marine resources may lead to reforms
Sidebar: Abalone aquaculture struggles for foothold in Tomales Bay
by Paul G. Olin
Polluted runoff impairs coastal water quality
Sidebar: Partnerships preserve water quality of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
by Holly Price, Richard M. Starr
Sea Grant Extension crucial link to coastal resources
by John Stumbos
Sidebar: Public education to thwart aquatic nuisances
by Jodi L. Cassell
Sidebar: Diverse groups team up to fight pollution
by Leigh Taylor Johnson