“The recreational fishing community remains an underserved audience.” This is among a number of key findings identified in new report by the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The report entitled “California MPA Education and Outreach Needs Assessment: Major Findings and Recommendations” is based upon the input received from the surveying 231 individuals across California. Based upon the input received from the survey group, the Foundation identified important outstanding issues to address in the realm of MPA outreach and education with the goal of increasing awareness of California’s MPAs and compliance of the regulations therein.


Five key findings identified in the report were as follows:

  1. “The recreational fishing community remains an underserved audience and potentially powerful ally in need of targeted MPA outreach.”
  2. “Printing, distribution and continued replenishment of materials are major obstacles to sustained outreach.”
  3. “Basic knowledge of local MPAs is commonly absent for strategic outlets that interface with millions of visitors to California’s coast each year.”
  4. “Locally-relevant, interesting and “hopeful” MPA content in contemporary media formats is needed.”
  5. “Strategic, targeted, and audience- specific tools and approaches are needed for each product, program, or training.”
The report also provides a number of recommendations- parsing them into two categories of either increasing compliance with MPA regulations or increasing overall awareness of MPAs with the general public. Chief among these recommendations is the need to ensure that messaging is well tailored to the particular audience intended for outreach.

The report was funded by the Ocean Protection Council and produced in coordination with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The full report can be downloaded from CNRA’s Open Data Portal.

For questions on the report, contact Rikki Eriksen, Rikki@californiamsf.org