From 2000 to 2006 Dr. Michael Domeier and scientists with the Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research performed an involved study of the movements of the giant sea bass, Stereolepis gigas, and white seabass, Atractoscion nobilis, in the California Channel Islands. This study utilized one of the largest acoustic receiver arrays in the world, encompassing five of the Channel Islands and three points along the mainland (Point Vicente, Point Dume, and Point Conception). This array included 96 acoustic receivers designed to pick up the acoustic signal emitted by transmitters that have been surgically implanted in select species of fish. This array was used to study many species of coastal California fishes, incuding giant sea bass, white seabass, kelp bass, sheephead, ocean whitefish and halibut.
The large acoustic tracking array allowed us to track the movements of individual fish for up to 6 years. In addition, our tracking array covered areas within and outside of established Marine Protected Areas. Over the life of the array we amassed a huge amount of data relating to seasonal movement patterns and habitat preferences for all the species that were selected for tagging. These data will also be invaluable for examining the effectiveness of our local Marine Protected Areas. We are in the process of analyzing these data so that we can publish our findings in scientific journals.
We gratefully acknowledge the support of the George T. Pfleger Foundation, Offield Family Foundation and Catalina Seabass Fund.