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Education and Outreach

[vc_row][vc_column][mkd_section_title title="PIER research is published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and directly communicated to fisheries biologists through strong collaborative ties with the National Marine Fisheries Service and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife." title_size="medium" title_color="" title_text_align="" margin_bottom="" width=""][vc_column_text]In addition, PIER research and project updates are presented at several public venues all across southern California.  The PIER team also engages younger audiences through presentations to K-12 schools in southern California.     As advocates of marine stewardship PIER established a partnership with the Oceanside SEA Center (OSC) to develop a diverse hub of marine-based education and recreation in Southern California. This synergistic collaboration focuses on promoting stewardship and...

Swordfish Studies

[vc_row][vc_column][mkd_section_title title="PIER has been focused on swordfish research for over 15 years, with active studies currently underway on understanding movement patterns, habitat utilization, physiology, stock structure and sustainable fishery development." title_size="medium" title_color="" title_text_align="" margin_bottom="" width=""][vc_empty_space height="15px"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][mkd_tabs style="vertical_with_text" navigation_width="small"][mkd_tab icon_pack="font_awesome" fa_icon="" tab_title="Background"][vc_column_text] Swordfish are large, open water predators that are capable of inhabiting a wide range of environmental conditions from the warm surface waters to depths well beneath the thermocline (300 to >1,000 m), factors that have contributed to their near-cosmopolitan range. They possesses several adaptations for life down deep including intricate gills that are designed for efficient oxygen extraction, very large eyes, and a "brain...

Commercial Gear Development

[vc_row][vc_column][mkd_section_title title="PIER works with local fisherman to develop sustainable options for our fishing communities." title_size="large" title_color="" title_text_align="center" margin_bottom="" width=""][vc_single_image image="16851" img_size="full"][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text] One of PIER’s core missions continues to be focused on expanding local and sustainable fishing opportunities.  This is a complicated task, but one that is rewarding and needed if we want to continue to have local sustainable seafood.  Since 2010, PIER has been using science and technology to develop gear options that allow local fishers to target swordfish with reduced impacts to the environment.  This unique approach uses fine-scale tag data to identify times and depths when the target catch can be selectively harvested.  PIER’s...

Physiology Studies

[vc_row][vc_column][mkd_section_title title="Although often not a primary study objective, the PIER research team continues to collaborate on several physiological and ecological studies on highly migratory species. The bulk of these studies have been on species that are relatively difficult to access and therefore have received relatively little study to date." title_size="medium" title_color="" title_text_align="" margin_bottom="" width=""][vc_column_text]Understanding the physiological basis behind movements and performance helps us understand how different species use and partition the marine environment.  An unexpected result of the trial and testing of Deep-Set Buoy Gear was the unprecedented access it provided to live and healthy swordfish specimens for tagging and physiological studies.  Although swordfish continue...

Survivorship Studies

[vc_row][vc_column][mkd_section_title title="In addition to fishery development and stock structure questions, PIER also focuses on questions related to post release survival. PIER is keenly interested in the disposition of species after they are caught and released." title_size="medium" title_color="" title_text_align="" margin_bottom="" width=""][vc_column_text]Catch and release mortality estimates play an important role in management models and also provide anglers with information on their impacts to local stocks.  Over the recent past, the PIER team has performed catch and release survivorship studies on several pelagic species.  Most of the survivorship studies have been through collaborative projects with the National Marine Fisheries Service Bycatch Reduction and Engineering Program (NMFS/NOAA).    Documenting gear...

Opah

Opah

[vc_row][vc_column][mkd_section_title title="Opah Fishery Development" title_size="large" title_color="" title_text_align="" margin_bottom="" width=""][vc_single_image image="16732" img_size="full"][vc_empty_space height="10px"][mkd_section_title title="PIER has recently partnered with the National Marine Fisheries Service to kick off a new electronic tagging project on opah, a poorly studied fish that is common off the California coast." title_size="medium" title_color="" title_text_align="" margin_bottom="" width=""][vc_column_text]With support from the Offield Family Foundation and NOAA’s Saltonstall Kennedy Grant Program, PIER initiated a research project focused on filling important data gaps for opah, a poorly known resource that is seasonally caught off the California coast.  PIER’s interest in opah is also based on its common occurrence in the deep-set fishery and its potential role...

Thresher Sharks

[vc_row][vc_column][mkd_section_title title="The PIER team has worked collaboratively with several laboratories on the movements, physiology and ecology of thresher sharks (Family Alopiidae)." title_size="medium" title_color="" title_text_align="" margin_bottom="" width=""][mkd_tabs style="vertical_with_text" navigation_width="small"][mkd_tab icon_pack="font_awesome" fa_icon="" tab_title="Survivorship"][vc_column_text]This shark family contains three species that use their long caudal fin for feeding and stunning prey.  Off California, the bigeye and common thresher sharks are typically the most prevalent, but in some years we can also find pelagic threshers here as well.  Below you can find areas in PIER has worked on this group of pelagic sharks and links to additional pages that describe the studies in more detail. Survivorship in Commercial Fisheries Recently, the...

White Seabass

[vc_row][vc_column][mkd_section_title title="The PIER team has several research projects focused on better understanding the movements, spawning dynamics and stock structure of white seabass off the California and Mexican coastlines." title_size="medium" title_color="" title_text_align="" margin_bottom="" width=""][mkd_tabs style="vertical_with_text" navigation_width="small"][mkd_tab icon_pack="font_awesome" fa_icon="" tab_title="Management & History"][vc_column_text] Management and History of the White Seabass Fishery   The white seabass is an economically important species that has historically been targeted by commercial and recreational fisheries throughout their functional range.  Over the past 100 years of exploitation, it has become apparent that white seabass are highly susceptible to overfishing, with stocks plummeting on at least three different occasions.  This susceptibility is likely due to a combination...

Swordfish

[vc_row][vc_column][mkd_section_title title="Collectively the PIER team has several projects that focus on the movements, physiology, ecology and fishery development for swordfish off the California coast." title_size="medium" title_color="" title_text_align="" margin_bottom="" width=""][mkd_tabs style="vertical_with_text" navigation_width="small"][mkd_tab icon_pack="font_awesome" fa_icon="" tab_title="Physiology"][vc_column_text] Heat conservation, vascular specialization and muscle function. Collaborative researchers: Diego Bernal, Ph.D. (University of Mass., Dartmouth) Ashley Stoer, doctoral candidate (UMD) Jeanine Sepulveda, PhD (MiraCosta College) Doug Syme, PhD (University of Calgary) PIER researchers are collaboratively working with several laboratories to investigate several aspects of swordfish physiology.  Given the PIER teams access to live swordfish, ongoing studies range from examining heat balance and vascular specialization to the effects of temperature on muscle performance. Thermal Studies This work uses a...