In the groundfish business, fish aren’t the only commodity, and the city of Monterey is well aware of that fact.
Declared a federal disaster in 2000, the fishery for West Coast groundfish has been subject to a federally-implemented “catch share” system since 2011. It works like this: Instead of fishermen competing against each other and catching as much fish as possible before the fishery’s quota is met, fishermen were allocated a one-time “share” of the quota, and they can fish at whatever pace they please.
By most measures, the catch share program has been a success: The program helped turn the fishery from a disaster to sustainable. In 2014, the Seafood Watch program reclassified 21 groundfish species from “avoid” to “good alternative” or even “best choice.”