The ARMP uses density levels (Table 1, ARMP Table 7-2) to regulate the TAC for the fishery based on results from dive surveys at eight index sites (Fig.
These four sites represent half of the data required by the ARMP for evaluating the fishery using the TAC adjustment table (Table 1).
Van Damme is a possible exception; however, densities of sublegal sized abalone were not as high as the standard set in the ARMP (Table 3).
Red abalone densities in four recent surveys show abalone densities at levels, which would maintain the current TAC according to the ARMP TAC adjustment table (Table 1).
Recruitment is a secondary criterion in the ARMP and is only considered when the TAC might be increased (Table 1).
The ARMP monitoring schedule of triennial scuba surveys for eight sites should adequately detect red abalone population declines before adverse fishery conditions occur.
A more randomized sampling scheme would also be a first step towards implementing the Long-term management plan in the ARMP.
The ARMP provides a cautious framework for managing the fishery with the data available.