Marine Conservation Institute, recognizing the need for more and better ocean protection, is leading a major initiative to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030. Launched in 2017, Blue Parks is an innovative strategy to incentivize decision makers to establish protected areas that safeguard marine life and promote opportunities for sustainable tourism. Learn more about the program at blueparks.org
Habitat types: Predominant habitat along shore is sand beach, interspersed with cobble areas. Subtidal habitat is a mixture of sand and rocky reefs. Red and green algae dominate inshore areas. Kelp beds occur intermittently but are reduced from historic dimensions. Subtidal habitats once supported populations of red, pink, white, and black abalone. Rocky subtidal habitats are now dominated by urchins. Purple hydrocoral occurs on deeper rocky reefs. The shallow rocky habitat extends offshore to Gull Island. The SMR contains offshore emergent rocks, including Gull Island, which are excellent habitats for seabirds.
Surrounding habitat types: The habitat immediately surrounding Gull Island itself is fairly unique, high relief, not found elsewhere. Outside this MPA habitats are more similar to the areas inshore of Gull Island with sand beach, cobble, and rocky headlands.
Summary of existing regulations: No take is allowed.
Primary objectives: A state marine reserve by definition may achieve one or more of the following goals:
Protect or restore rare, threatened or endangered native plants, animals, or habitats in marine areas;
Protect or restore outstanding, representative, or imperiled marine species, communities, habitats, and ecosystems;
Protect or restore diverse marine gene pools;
Contribute to the understanding and management of marine resources and ecosystems by providing the opportunity for scientific research in outstanding, representative, or imperiled marine habitats or ecosystems.
Existing Enforcement: Included as part of normal Department of Fish and Game marine patrol activities for this general area based on available patrol resources and level of fishery activity in the area. Channel Islands MPAs have been given a high priority for enforcement. A new, 54 foot, patrol vessel and several smaller vessels have been dedicated to Island patrols. National Park island rangers are present on the island.
Basic Evaluation: This is a recently established marine protected area. Fish populations in the vicinity of Gull Island are likely to respond to protection with increased density, individual size, and reproductive potential. In addition, refer to above review of baseline and ongoing monitoring and research studies.