Monterey proposes a partnership that aims to keep fishermen, and the fish we eat, local.

By David Schmalz, Monterey County Weekly, July 16, 2015

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.”

Dani Dunn