For as long as humans have lived along Monterey Bay, they’ve found sustenance in the sea. Beginning with the native Ohlone people, and persisting through the arrival of immigrants from the 18th century onward, fishing has always been at the heart of Monterey Bay’s regional identity.
“Many immigrants, upon first arrival, went immediately to the shore and began to try and figure out how to make a living from the bay’s bounty,” says Sandy Lydon, emeritus historian at Cabrillo College.
But today, most of the fish sold on Monterey’s own wharves is imported. Paradoxically, the fish caught and landed in Monterey Bay is largely sold for export.