Sensitive barnacles - A case study for collaborative sustainable fishery development

Honors thesis


Current human – ocean relationships are dominated by unsustainable extraction of marine resources having both ecological and socio-economic consequences. Sustainable fishery management utilizing stakeholder collaboration must become a proactive strategy to prevent or reduce further long-lasting impacts. In Oregon, USA, a newly developing fishery for gooseneck barnacle (Pollicipes polymerus) presents a real-world opportunity to reframe fisheries management. Commercial gooseneck fishing in Oregon requires the development of harvest management to prevent patterns of gooseneck overharvest seen historically in Europe, but relevant scientific information on the natural population dynamics and life-history of Oregon goosenecks is lacking. To begin filling this need, I studied the spatial and temporal variability of life history patterns and population structure of Pollicipes polymerus at several sites along the central Oregon coast. I documented (i) significant correlation between regional differences in oceanography and gooseneck population density (ii) site-specific variation in the size-frequency distribution of individuals, particularly in the fraction of individuals of harvestable size, (iii) seasonality in population brooding patterns, and (iv) slow rates of population recovery spanning multiple years in a manipulative harvest simulation experiment on natural substrates. These findings suggest future necessary scientific investigations of P. polymerus populations and support preliminary sustainable harvest management design in Oregon.

Oregon State University (Honors)
Julia Bingham
Julia Bingham
Honors Student