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Last Friday Lecture Series – Saving Giant Sea Bass with Andrew Pettit

June 28 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

This event will be in-person at the Trailhead Visitor Center and streamed live online.


Utilizing Community Science and Machine Learning to Save the King of the Kelp Forest

The giant sea bass (Stereolepis gigas) is the largest bony fish along the California coast and a crucial apex predator in kelp forests and rocky reefs. Due to their slow growth and predictable aggregations, they were nearly fished to extinction throughout their entire range from Humboldt Bay to Baja California, Mexico. Now critically endangered and protected by a California fishing moratorium, their population is believed to be recovering, though no direct assessment has been made. The Spotting Giant Sea Bass project uses community-sourced photos and machine learning to identify individual fish by their unique spot patterns. Mark-recapture models show promising signs of recovery, highlighting the importance of ongoing conservation efforts. This talk will dive into the fascinating recovery journey of the giant sea bass, the innovative techniques used by Spotting Giant Sea Bass to monitor them, and the critical role of community involvement in conservation.


Andrew Pettit

Andrew Pettit is a project scientist and graduate student with the Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory at the UCSB Marine Science Institute. He leads the Spotting Giant Sea Bass Project, seeking to answer important questions regarding the population, spatial patterns, and ecology of the giant sea bass. He is an avid diver and has worked as an AAUS scientific diver at UC Santa Barbara since 2020, conducting research along the California coast and Northern Channel Islands.

Trailhead Visitor Center


June 28, 2024
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm


Trailhead Visitor Center
708 Crescent Ave
Avalon, 90704