Is the California Wild Fishing Industry Sustainable?
Thanks to a 2013 regulation by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the California fishing industry has seen a rise in the quality of seafood that commercial fishermen can bring in on a regular basis. These new regulations created “catch shares” limiting the number of fish that each person (or company) can harvest.
Prior to the new regulations, the size and quantity of the fish were decreasing. Everyone from the individual fishermen to the major fishing corporations was seeing a drop in overall profits. The regulations at that time restricted the dates of fishing activity but did not put a cap on the quantity of fish being captured.
The new regulations allowed for a more productive breeding cycle along with longer periods for maturation. Although the new regulations cap the number of fish harvested, the overall size and quality of fish has increased. In short, the fish can breed more and grow bigger.
The following organizations can provide you with more information about wild caught seafood:
Marine Stewardship Council (MSC): https://www.msc.org/
Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program: http://www.seafoodwatch.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx
The Safina Center (formerly Blue Ocean Institute): http://safinacenter.org/