Fisheries Enhancement By HSWRI
The Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute or HSWRI has announced the creation of the Dick Laub Fisheries Replenishment Program after a gracious donation by Dorothea Laub in honor of the late long-time angler Dick Laub. She has committed $900,000 to fund the expansion of a proactive, resource management effort, which has been named in Dick Laub’s honor.
The Ocean Resources Enhancement Hatchery Program (OREHP) is one of HSWRI’s conservation research programs that was designed in collaboration with southern California recreational anglers, under the auspices of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, to specifically counteract the alarming decline of certain vital marine fish stocks. Since 1983, HSWRI scientists and their collaborators have developed culture techniques to rear and release white seabass, a commercially and recreationally important coastal marine fish species.
Volunteer anglers contribute more than 20,000 hours annually to support the juvenile fish at grow-out facilities.
Now that white seabass stocks are recovering, anglers are looking at additional species that may benefit from the decades of culture experience learned through OREHP.
With several years of support from Chevron Corporation, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute’s scientists have already been investigating additional species such as yellowtail and halibut that might fit into OREHP’s mission. In 2014, an anonymous angler made a generous donation, which served as the catalyst for HSWRI to explore the potential for additional species, and a multi-year campaign was initiated. Momentum was gained with recent donations from AFTCO, Frank LoPreste and his partners in Fisherman’s, Pt. Loma, Seaforth and H&M Landings, and Sempra Energy.
Concurrent with this new initiative, California’s recreational angling community has become organized under the umbrella of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), a nation-wide, state-driven, recreational fishing advocacy organization. A new CCA-California Chapter was recently formed and has chosen the Dick Laub Fisheries Replenishment Program as its first priority after incorporation.
The species to be focused on by this larger enhancement program are still under discussion between the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the marine science community and recreational anglers. With the creation of CCA-California, the Dick Laub Fisheries Replenishment Program will enjoy additional support from the angler community but matching gifts and advocacy will still be needed over several years from philanthropic partners. For more information, please contact Eileen Sigler, HSWRI’s Development Director, at 619-226-3881.
Photo Credit: HSWRI