Recent and pending federal marine management actions on the U.S. West Coast, from groundfish regulations to marine reserves and National Marine Sanctuary management plan revisions, have highlighted the critical need for socioeconomic information on marine resource uses and associated communities. The need for this information is both practical and legal. In practical terms, because resource users affect and are affected by management, socioeconomic information can be used to inform and enhance the effectiveness of management design, implementation and evaluation. In legal terms, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA, and amendments), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) require consideration of the "human dimensions" in the design and implementation of federal actions that affect the human and biophysical environments.
In central California, the site of three National Marine Sanctuaries (NMSs) and diverse federally- and state-managed fisheries, socioeconomic information to assess the impacts of management actions has been critically lacking. Among the types of information needed are qualitative and quantitative analyses of market channels through which value is added to the catch. These market channels are defined by the social and economic linkages among fishermen, receivers, processors and others, and are manifest in the spatial distribution of the quantity and value of fish products within and beyond the region.1
To address these information needs, we conducted a study of the production and distribution of fish products landed at the three main Monterey Bay area (MBA) ports: Moss Landing, Monterey and Santa Cruz. The overarching goal of the research was to help inform the assessment of potential social and economic impacts of fishery management and other measures and events. Specific objectives were: 1) to
describe the spatial organization of processing activities for fish landed at Monterey Bay ports (i.e., Moss Landing, Monterey and Santa Cruz); and 2) to estimate value added in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties to fish landed at Monterey Bay ports. This report provides a technical summary of the study background, followed by the methods, results and conclusions drawn.