Santa Cruz has the reputation as a laid-back surf town. Though underlying this casual waterfront vibe is the commercial fishing fleet that has helped shape the culture and economy of the area. What are the factors that have shaped the harbor and what's in store for the future?
In California, the return of King salmon is a cause for celebration. They are a sport fisherman’s dream catch, and used to be a solid payday for commercial fishermen. However, California salmon have been in crisis due to droughts and water wars waged over their river habitat. Fortunately, there are groups working in the Monterey region to help salmon populations recover.
For the second year in a row, the Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust will be teaming up with local fishermen and the boating community to find and remove lost Dungeness crab gear from the Bay. The project, which will operate out of Monterey, Moss Landing, and Santa Cruz, aims to keep the ocean free of marine debris and reduce the risk of entanglements with boats and marine life.
Commercial fishermen, conservationists and policy makers have worked out a plan that benefits the ocean environment and commercial fishermen on the West Coast – and it all started in Monterey! In April, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) moved to protect 140,000 square miles of ecologically sensitive marine habitat, while opening thousands of square miles of previously closed fishing grounds.
There has been a lot of buzz lately around our new Fish Hub program, with stories airing on KAZU and KION as well as articles in Edible Monterey Bay and Civil Eats. Which is prompting a lot of people to ask: what exactly is a fish hub? Here we explain the why, the what, and the who of our new program to rebuild local markets for Monterey Bay seafood.
The Monterey Canyon bisects the bay and drops to over two miles deep - twice the depth as Arizona’s Grand Canyon! It’s the largest and deepest canyon off the Pacific Coast, with tributaries including Soquel Canyon to the north, and Carmel Canyon to the south. Krill from the deep canyons migrate up to the surface every night, helping to support the Monterey ecosystem.
Roger, who starts on March 19th, will be responsible for rebuilding local and regional markets for local seafood as part of our new Fish Hub program, which seeks to aggregate demand, coordinate logistics, and promote sustainable, Monterey Bay landed seafood.
Now restaurants and markets can proudly feature three more delicious groundfish on their menus. This month the National Marine Fisheries Service announced that Pacific ocean perch is recovered, 34 years ahead of projected schedule!
Pacific Elementary School in Davenport is serving bocaccio rockfish tacos, and the students love them! Bocaccio rockfish is a healthy, local seafood choice, and is one of three West Coast groundfish species that have recovered in recent months.
Humpbacks lunge feeding, orcas waiting to pounce on passing gray whales, and even pods of the mighty blue whale have been spotted in Monterey Bay. This is great news! However, more whales means more chances for mishaps when it comes to lost crab pots.