The Fish and Game Commission unanimously granted permission to cull urchins at Tanker's Reef in Monterey!
To learn more about the Tanker's Reef Kelp Restoration Project, view this webinar from Mar. 8, 2021.
Divers are needed for kelp restoration in Monterey!
The Instruction of Instructors will be held April 25 and 26 in Monterey. PADI and NAUI Dive Instructors are needed to teach divers how to do this activity safely, effectively, and in a way that minimizes by-catch and benthic disturbances. If interested contact email@example.com
Reef Check and our Interagency partners will monitor urchin suppression efforts to inform marine resource managers to determine if recreational divers can be a useful means of kelp restoration and be scaled up into other areas.
The G2KR Project is voluntary. We ask that you cull urchins in cooperation with other volunteers and report data through an online portal. The best way to do this work is to be properly trained by dive certification agencies.
Sea urchins have already eaten much of the Kelp Forest of Monterey Peninsula and beyond. Why are there so many urchins? Sea stars are major predators of urchins. Beginning in 2013, Sea Star Wasting Disease caused a massive die-off of sea stars on the west coast. From 2014-16, an exceptionally warm water blob hugged the west coast, inhibiting kelp growth. Purple urchin populations exploded to up to five hundred times their normal numbers. They quickly ate all of their normal diet of seaweed scraps, and began to attack living kelp.
This beautifully crafted, 12 minute video was generously created by Coriolis Films for the Giant Giant Kelp Restoration Project. It explains the root causes of the Monterey Bay sea urchin explosion and what our project is doing to remove urchins and restore kelp forests.
Watch for a feature-length documentary on the plight of kelp forests by Coriolis Films in the coming months.
Tanker's Reef Kelp Restoration Petition is law!
Sportfishing rules were amended April 1 to allow recreational divers with a California fishing license to cull with hammers an unlimited number of purple and red urchins at Tanker's Reef in Monterey.
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California Ocean Protection Council, and Reef Check California have partnered with the diving community in a scientific/fishing project to determine if recreational divers culling urchins would be an effective means of suppressing urchins, restoring kelp forests, and providing habitat for the southern sea otter.
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Help Save Kelp - New!
Underwater photographer and author Marc Shargel explains why keeping kelp forests healthy is important for Monterey's economy and environment. April 2020
By Keith Rootsaert for the Monterey Shootout 2019
Deep Discussion: Monterey Urchin Crisis with Keith Rootsaert - New! Presented on June 1, 2020 for Blue Endeavors, this 1:24 min. webinar includes details on the politics involved in getting Petition 2020 passed by the California Fish and Game Commission.