It take a village to build a sustainable fishing economy. The Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust partners with members of the fishing industry, government, nonprofits, and others from the community on projects to build stewardship, improve fisheries management, and create healthy and profitable fisheries.
Lost gear recovery project
The Trust is working with local fishermen to remove lost and abandoned crab gear from Monterey Bay to prevent entanglements with boats, whales, and other wildlife. This is a team effort, with fishermen finding and collecting the gear, the Trust coordinating the logistics, The Nature Conservancy providing funding support, the Moss Landing Harbor District donating storage space, and the Half Moon Bay Groundfish Marketing Association and other partners from California ports sharing lessons learned .
City of Monterey
The City of Monterey is a key partner of the Trust and the fishing community. The City's 2013 Fishing Community Sustainability Plan and 2016 Waterfront Improvement Plan both highlight the City's goals to preserve and support the fishing industry. Using Tidelands Trust Funds, the City has helped anchor important and historic groundfish fishing rights in this community. The local fishermen who sold their fishing rights have first right of refusal to lease them, with the option to buy them back within ten years. In doing this, the City has ensured that these fishermen will have continued access to these fishing rights, and that our community will benefit from this fishery for generations to come. The Trust manages the City's fishing rights on behalf of the City.
Marine Resource Education Program West
Since 2016, the Trust has been partnering with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, NOAA Fisheries, and other West Coast partners on the Marine Resource Education Program (MREP). MREP brings fishermen, scientists & regulators together in a series of three-day workshops, to help fishermen better understand & engage in the fisheries management process.
CALIFORNIA community quota fund (CQF) NETWORK
Fishing community quota funds (CQFs) have sprung up across the country as rights-based fisheries management programs have increased. A CQF (also called a "permit bank" or "fisheries trust") buys local fishing rights and holds them in trust for the local fishing community. In California, we work closely with CQF partners including the Morro Bay Community Quota Fund, the Fort Bragg Groundfish Conservation Trust, and the Half Moon Bay Commercial Fisheries Trust, to share ideas and lessons learned and improve our efficacy, impact, and sustainability. We also work closely with our partners at Catch Together, a new organization that works with fishermen and fishing communities to make sustainable seafood impact investments.
Observer Pilot Test
In the West Coast Groundfish Trawl fishery, trawlers currently have to pay federal observers more than $500 a day on every fishing trip to ensure that all fish are accounted for. The Trust is working with Saltwater Observers, Inc. on an Observer Pilot Test to explore a new model for part-time, on-call observers in small ports. This program aims to improve the observer program by reducing expenses for fishermen and observer companies and increasing the availability of local observers.