California halibut (Paralichthys californicus) is a large, predatory flat fish that lives in nearshore, soft bottom ocean habitat. Populations have been fished actively since before the beginning of California landings records in 1916 and continue to support important commercial and recreational fisheries off California. To ensure that fishing levels are sustainable and do not result in an overfished stock, managers develop stock assessments that establish the status of the fishery resource. Stock assessments are a highly informative management tool used by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to monitor the abundance of fish populations, determine the level at which a resource may be sustainably exploited, and sometimes to predict the consequences of policy decisions. External, independent peer review of the scientific underpinnings of the stock assessment is one way to provide the CDFW and stakeholders assurances that it is based upon the best readily available scientific information.
California Ocean Science Trust is serving the State by convening an independent scientific peer review panel that will review the underlying scientific and technical merits of the draft stock assessment, ensuring the science underpinning this process represents the best scientific information available and is appropriately used.