Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust aims to bring back the local seafood market.

By David Schmalz. Monterey County Weekly.

As recently as the early 2000s, Monterey Peninsula residents could head down to Monterey’s waterfront and pick up fresh, locally caught seafood on one of the city’s two wharves.

But with the collapse of the groundfish fishery – which includes species like sanddabs, petrale sole and rockfish – subsequent regulations drove local fishermen out of the market, even as the fishery as a whole has come back. Today, nearly all the fish sold on both wharves is far more likely to be from Canada or Asia than from Monterey Bay.

The Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust, a nonprofit started in late 2014, aims to change that, and is trying to revive the local fishing economy and rebuild the bridge between local fishermen and the local market.

To that end, the trust – with a funding assist from the Monterey Bay Aquarium – initiated a feasibility study in late November to see what, if anything, can be done to solve the problem.

Dani Dunn