Monterey to use Tidelands funds to support city’s fishing industry

Monterey Herald – In a move that’s ultimately designed to preserve the fishing industry in Monterey Bay, the city of Monterey has allocated $583,000 of its Tidelands Trust Funds to purchase groundfish fishing rights for local fishermen.

“This item is exactly the right purpose for Tidelands funds,” said City Manager Mike McCarthy, before a presentation was delivered to council members by Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust Executive Director Sherry Flumerfelt. “It’s about securing fishing rights here for years to come.”

Said Flumerfelt, “We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have the partnership of Monterey with this.”

In 2013 Monterey adopted the Fishing Community Sustainability Plan that former Monterey harbormaster Steve Scheiblauer, along with others, was involved in writing. Scheiblauer, who retired in early 2017, now serves as Board Chair for the Trust.

The plan, which centers around Wharf 2, outlines 40 recommendations about how to restore and enhance commercial fishing in Monterey. Its main goal is to sustain the city’s fishing heritage, one that is not only culturally significant, but strongly linked to the tourism industry in Monterey.

Groundfish are fish that live on, in, or near the bottom of the body of water they inhabit and include sand dabs, black cod or sable fish and all types of rock fish. According to Scheiblauer, it’s a robust fishery and unlike squid and salmon, doesn’t have such huge seasonal ups and downs.

“Groundfish can be very steady and level out the economic line,” said Scheiblauer. “And so there was a lot of emphasis on this fishery because it’s very steady and can bring in a lot year-round and has been reinvigorated through good management.”

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