The drift gillnet fishery grew in the 1970s off southern California, targeting common thresher, shortfin mako and swordfish. Drift gillnet gear is anchored to a vessel, and drifts along with the current for a number of hours (i.e. ‘soak time’).
The red sea urchin fishery began in southern California in the 1970s as a way to reduce a species whose population appeared to be destroying valuable kelp beds (its food source). Divers use SCUBA or air lines to swim along the bottom, collecting the urchin in baskets.
This is a group of pelagic schooling fish (northern anchovy, market squid, Pacific sardine, Pacific mackerel, and jack mackerel) caught for consumption, aquaculture, and bait.
Ridgeback shrimp occur from Monterey, California to Cedros Island, Baja California at depths from 100 feet to 525 feet. The California fishery began in 1966 and is centered in the Santa Barbara Channel and off Santa Monica Bay.
Spot prawns range from Alaska to San Diego, California, at depths from 150 to 1,600 feet. Areas of higher abundance in California waters occur off of the Farallon Islands, Monterey, the Channel Islands and most offshore banks.
This species is harvested with bottom-trawl gear from California up into Canada. They are sold as cocktail or salad shrimp and played an important financial role in many coastal port communities since the early 1970s.
The term groundfish describes over 90 species of fish that live near or on the sea floor, and are covered by the PFMC’s Groundfish FMP. The majority of these are rockfish (64 species), such as widow, yellowtail, blues and blacks, bocaccio, yelloweye and thornyheads.
This species has been targeted for both sport and commercial purposes for over 100 years. Commercially, white seabass are caught with set and drift gillnets.
One of the most valuable fisheries off the West Coast, the Dungeness crab fishery ranges from Monterey Bay north into Oregon and Washington. The largest catches in California are usually in the northern part of the state around Eureka and Crescent City.
Chinook and coho salmon are the main species caught by fishermen in central and northern California waters, usually by trolling. Salmon are born in fresh water streams, making their way out to the sea as fry, spending 2-5 years in the ocean, then returning to their natal streams to spawn.
Albacore tuna are caught by California commercial fishermen mainly using hook and line (poles) or by trolling. This species is managed as part of a complex in the Highly Migratory Species FMP.