Apr 19 2012

Online Report: Profiles of North Coast Fishing Communities

Charter boats at Trinidad dock Photo: C. Pomeroy

By: Caroline Pomeroy, Cynthia J. Thomas and Melissa M. Stevens

LA JOLLA, CA – California Sea Grant is pleased to announce the availability of an online edition of “California’s North Coast Fishing Communities: Historical Perspective and Recent Trends.”

The 340-pp. technical report presents a historic, demographic and economic overview of the region’s four major fishing communities: Crescent City in Del Norte County, Trinidad and Eureka/Fields Landing in Humboldt County, and Noyo/Fort Bragg in Mendocino County.

Profiles of each community highlight major commercial and recreational fisheries, their values, fleet sizes and how they have changed over time. There is also key information on fishing infrastructure – such as docks, piers, slips, launch ramps and cold storage facilities – and market channels for local commercial catches. But perhaps the most interesting sections are those that describe the current challenges and outlooks for sustaining the fishing communities.

The report was prepared originally, with funding from the California Coastal Conservancy and NOAA Fisheries in 2010 as a resource for addressing a diversity of fishery management and policy issues. It has since been used to inform local decision-making and to evaluate some of the potential social and economic consequences of establishing marine protected areas along the North Coast.
Sorting fish at Caito Fisheries in Fort Bragg. Photo: C. Pomeroy

“It (the report) is an invaluable reference for fielding public and media requests about local fishing, because it explains the value of our fisheries to the overall port community,” said Dan Berman, Director of the Conservation Division for the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District.

“We know what is going on at our docks,” said Eureka-based fisherman Dave Bitts, president of Pacific Coast Federation of Fishing Associations and one of the more than 180 fishery participants interviewed for the project. “What the report has done is assemble our knowledge in a way that is accessible to academics, consultants and government workers.”

Fisheries managers, both state and federal, are required to consider the social and economic impacts of regulations. “Yet, in-depth social science information on California fishing communities has been quite scarce,” said Caroline Pomeroy, a California Sea Grant marine advisor based in Santa Cruz and the lead author of the report, explaining her motivation for pursuing the research.

The full reportexecutive summary and individual community profiles can be downloaded at the California Sea Grant Extension web page or through the University of California’s eScholarship open-access repository.

California Sea Grant is part of NOAA’s National Sea Grant, a network of 32 university-based programs.



Leave a Reply