The Santa Barbara Channel is one of the nation's richest sources of bountiful, sustainable and high-quality seafood.
Santa Barbara's harbor has over 100 small-boat fishermen who catch 6-10 million pounds of seafood annually, bringing in $30 million in economic benefit to the local community.
Our fishermen bring in wild-caught white sea bass, black cod, ling cod, yellowtail, rockfishes, halibut, swordfish, tuna, king salmon, thresher shark, urchin, crab, shrimp, lobster, whelk, sea cucumber - more than 50species in total!
Fun Facts about Santa Barbara seafood
- Spiny Lobster: Lacking claws, spiny lobsters have firm, sweet meat revered across Asia - 75% of the catch is shipped there live. Season: October - March
- Spot Prawns: Ours are considered the sweetest-tasting prawn on the West Coast. Larger than ridgeback shrimp, they have distinctive spots along their head. Hand-picked in traps and sought after by fine dining restaurants around the globe, they can be hard to come by. Season: March - October, some incidental catch in the winter
- Ridgeback Shrimp: Actually a prawn - distinguished by the sharp spine on its back - that is smaller, more readily available than spot prawn. Very sweet and tender, their overall fragility prevents them from being shipped fresh. Season: October - June
- Rock Crab: California fishermen harvest three distinct species of rock crab - all cousins of the Dungeness - red, yellow, and brown. The red come from the deepest waters and have the sweetest meat. Buy them live from the boat at the Saturday Fishermen's Market. Season: Year-round
- Sea Urchin: The Santa Barbara Channel boasts the best urchins in the world. A quarter of the catch is exported to Asia, where urchin is considered a delicacy, but it is also found on local menus and throughout the US. Pale orange, with a taste both sweet and briny, eating urchin roe is like a bite of the ocean. Season: Year-round
- About 25 species are harvested by our port in high volumes (greater than 20 thousand pounds per year on average) with over 100 species in total.