SIMoN-CalCOFI: Leveraging historic and recent datasets for monitoring efforts in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS).

A synthesis of oceanographic data collected in the waters of the Sanctuary and contiguous waters of the California Current. In particular, using historic and recent California Oceanic Cooperative Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) data and recently collected MBARI data.

California Oceanic Cooperative Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) are a partnership of the California Department of Fish and Game, the NOAA Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. CalCOFI was formed in 1949 to study the ecological aspects of the sardine populations off California and over time has shifted to a broader study of the marine environment off the coast of California and the management of its living resources. The image at right illustrates CalCOFI lines and hydrographic stations along central California (yellow triangles) - the Sanctuary border is in red.

For the SIMoN-CalCOFI project, we are interested in examining historic and recent CalCOFI hydrographic and biological data (and recent data collected here at MBARI on occupied CalCOFI survey lines) in context of monitoring ecological change in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The CalCOFI dataset spans a wide range of measurements - from physical variables such as temperature and salinity through 'biological' measurements of plankton, nekton, fishes and apex predators - and may provide a valuable resource for management efforts within the Sanctuary.

Initial goals of the project:

  • Assess spatial and temporal overlaps between recent and historic hydrographic CalCOFI/MBARI data and the waters of MBNMS (including regions surrounding the Sanctuary).
  • Assess spatial and temporal overlaps between historic biological CalCOFI data and the MBNMS, including ancillary datasets where possible.
  • Assemble database (geodatabase) of observations relevant to Sanctuary waters - focusing initially on CalCOFI lines 60, 63, 67, 70 & 73 as they transit through Sanctuary waters.
  • Review data in light of the Proposed Action Plans produced by the Joint Management Review report to the Monterey National Marine Sanctuary Council (more information here: - how useful is CalCOFI data, or data collected in a similar manner (e.g. same spatial and temporal resolution) for achieving Sanctuary goals?
  • Analysis: develop pilot project(s) using CalCOFI data to address issues in one or more of the Proposed Action Plans.
  • If applicable, develop and plan future cruises for monitoring efforts in the Sanctuary.
  • Follow project on the web: SIMoN-CalCOFI portal


  • Andrew deVogelaere
  • Steve Lonhart

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