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Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725
During the October lectures, Dr. Hunter Lenihan, a distinguished researcher with the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), will discuss his effective collaborations with local fishermen to protect California spiny lobster and nearshore rockfish populations at the Channel Islands.
Lenihan’s research program connects local Santa Barbara Channel fishermen, university researchers, international scientists, and the California Department of Fish and Game in a joint pursuit to ensure the protection of these important commercial and recreational fisheries.
Lobster and rockfish are among the top economic fisheries in California. Lenihan notes that in 2004 the lobster fisheries alone yielded 928,302 pounds at a value of over $6.5 million. That year, nearly half of the state lobster catch came from Santa Barbara Channel fisheries.
According to Lenihan, traditional methods for assessing fish stocks have not provided enough data for effective management and are often expensive and time-consuming. Collaboration, a cornerstone of his research, provides a forum to share knowledge and experience between fisherman and researchers in an effort to support sustainable fisheries.
For the past eight years, Lenihan has been an Associate Professor in Applied Marine Ecology and Coastal Marine Resources Management with the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UCSB. Lenihan received a PhD in Marine Science at the University of North Carolina, a Masters in Science at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in California, and a Bachelors of Science degree at the University of California at Berkeley. He has also done extensive research within estuaries, at coral reefs, at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and in polar environments.