CFSB is actively engaged in a variety of issues affecting our port and/or California fisheries. Read below for more detail on current issues of concern.
Wanted: 'Ocean-dependent Use' Zones
What will it take to hold onto land for boat and gear storage in Santa Barbara's ever-gentrifying coastal zone? We will need to be vocal, pro-active, creative, collaborative and lucky to secure space for the fishing industry over the long term. CFSB is working with City officials, impact investors, land holders and others to educate them about this dire situation, get their support and strategize options for future development projects.
See our advocacy letter form May 19 2017 to the City
A Spiny Lobster Marketing Commission
A commission provides structure and funding to improve fleet-wide communication streams and motivate better engagement in proactive and cooperative decision-making from a larger fraction of the fishery participants across Southern California. We drafted legislation that will allow the fishery to hold a referendum to create a marketing commission. The bill, AB944, was sponsored by our State Rep, Monique Limon, sailed through committees unopposed and is now on the Governor's desk to be signed.
local access to local seafood
Santa Barbara’s Saturday Fisherman’s Market is a critical venue for connecting with the public and providing local access to local seafood at unbeatable prices. With a small grant we have funding to develop new advertising, educational materials about local fisheries, seafood handling and nutrition, a new fillet booth and other upgrades that will help expand and diversify the market. We have other grant proposals in the works to help seafood distributors buy and promote local seafood.
Domoic Acid Closures
Santa Barbara crabbers and lobstermen have been deeply engaged in discussions with regulators and policymakers about how to improve monitoring of domoic acid in a way that avoids unnecessary fishery losses while protecting public health. Read our latest post on DA monitoring in lobster or click below for an overview and collected resources.
Best Practices for Lost Fishing Gear
CFSB coordinates beach clean up events along the coastlines of Santa Barbara, Goleta and the Channel Islands. We partner with The Nature Conservancy to clean up coasts along the back side of Santa Cruz Island and areas around Chinese Harbor. We try to respond promptly when beach goers contact us about finding derelict gear on beaches, and have partnered with the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary to produce a short video with tips for lobster fishermen to minimize gear loss.
Oil Spill Readiness
Santa Barbara fishermen actively train for oil spill response and are often the first ones at the scene. Their local knowledge of currents and weather and their nimble small boats are critical to spill containment. Read about the evolving situation shaping the role of our fishing fleet in Central Coast oil spill readiness.
Offshore Monument Proposal
In late July, CA representative Sam Farr introduced Bill H.R. 5797 to create a new Marine National Monument surrounding most of California's offshore seamounts, banks and ridges. Certain defeat of this Bill paves the way for justifying a Presidential decree under the Antiquities Act. CFSB is working to ensure sustainable commercial fishing is not hurt by these political actions.
Groundfish Quota Transfer
CFSB is working on an agreement with The Nature Conservancy to acquire quota share in the groundfish trawl fishery to be harvested with fixed gear. CFSB is connecting with other quota banks across the west coast to learn successful strategies for managing quota on behalf of our community as we prepare for the acquisition.
Protecting Domestic Swordfish Supply
West Coast Swordfish populations are robust and considered "under-exploited" by NOAA. The offshore drift gillnet fishery is highly regulated and demonstrates minimal bycatch. However, animal-rights activists regularly attempt to shut it down via ill-conceived CA senate bills on the topic. CFSB is helping to educate environmentalists and legislative staffers about the long-term sustainability of the swordfish fishery.
Whale entanglement Training
The interaction of whales with fishing gear fluctuates over the years, but recently has been on the rise statewide. Santa Barbara fishermen recently attended a 2-day training event to learn best practices and continue to work with managers to find ways to reduce interactions with whales. NOAA's latest guidelines were just released. Click below for the link to them and more info.