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A new species of the genus Totoaba (family Sciaenidae) based upon otoliths from the late early Miocene marine upper Olcese Sand, Kern County, southern San Joaquin Valley, California is described. This is the first fossil occurrence for the genus, and it is hypothesized that Totoaba evolved entirely in the eastern Pacific realm. Within the upper Olcese Sand, this species represents but one component of a complex sciaenid fauna, which could provide insight into the evolution and distribution of the family Sciaenidae. An ontogenetic series of this species is defined, and ontogenetic changes in its otoliths are discussed.
Natural caudal spine replacement rates, population size and site fidelity of round stingrays, Urobatis halleri (Cooper), at Seal Beach, California were determined to evaluate the efficacy of clipping of caudal spines of stingrays to reduce injury to human beachgoers. Of the 2,183 stingrays caught, clipped, tagged, and released at Seal Beach, only 13 (0.06%) were recaptured over a three-year period, indicating a large, mobile population. Natural spine replacement occurred between August–October, when a majority of rays were found with two spines. Monthly catch rates of rays were variable, but positively correlated with the number of injuries reported by beachgoers. There was no significant reduction in stingray-related injuries to beach goers at Seal Beach over the period when stingray caudal spine clipping was conducted.
The patterns of distribution and abundance for the California spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus) within the kelp forest off La Jolla, CA (USA) were compared to the distribution of fishing effort during the 2005/2006 lobster season over an area of ∼20.25 km2. Fishing intensity was greatest at the beginning of the season (3333 traps on opening day) decreasing to 258 traps a few days before the end of the 24 week-long season. The collective effort of the trap fishermen primarily targeted the best habitats at the scale of the kelp forest, but fishing effort at smaller scales (250m, the smallest scale of our study) was less correlated to the best lobster habitats, especially near the beginning of the season. Fishing efficiency (CPUE) decreased linearly throughout the season, decreasing by more than an order of magnitude despite the fact that the distribution of fishing effort was better correlated with habitat quality and distribution near the end of the season. Fishing effort was greatest throughout the season at the edge of a small no-take marine protected area indicating possible fishing of spillover.