Data on abundance, size and fishing pressure of California spiny
lobster (Panulirus interruptus) are collected along the mainland coast
of the Santa Barbara Channel. Spiny lobsters are an important predator
in giant kelp forests off southern California. Two SBC LTER study
reefs are located in or near the California Fish and Game Network of
Marine Protected Areas (MPA), Naples and Isla Vista, both established
as MPAs on 2012-01-01. MPAs provide a unique opportunity to
investigate the effects of fishing on kelp forest community dynamics.
Sampling began in 2012 and is ongoing.
This dataset contains two tables. 1) Abundance and size data collected
annually by divers in late summer before the start of the fishing
season at five SBC LTER long term kelp forest study sites: two within
MPAs (Naples and Isla Vista) and three outside (Arroyo Quemado, Mohawk
and Carpinteria). 2) Fishing pressure, as determined by counting the
number of commercial trap floats. Data are collected every two to four
weeks during the lobster fishing season (October to March) at nine
sites along the mainland, eight of which are also SBC LTER long-term
kelp forest study reefs.