Bettencourt & Son is a 3rd and 4th generation family fishing operation from Half Moon Bay, California. Until recently, Geoff Bettencourt and his father, David, trawled for groundfish, catching Pacific cod, black cod, sand dabs, multiple rockfish species, and Petrale sole. In 2011, the Bettencourts took advantage of the Pacific groundfish IFQ gear-switching provision and have begun targeting black cod with selective trap gear that reduces bycatch of overfished species, improves fuel efficiency and produces high-quality catch. The Bettencourts also fish for Dungeness crab each fall; their boat is the F/V Moriah Lee.
Bill Blue has been a commercial fisherman out of Morro Bay for the last thirty-seven years. In 2008, he began working with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) as a participating fisherman on the Central Coast Groundfish project EFP. Bill was fishing on a boat that was about to turn 100 years old. He went looking to upgrade to a new boat to be more sustainable as the groundfish industry was moving towards an IFQ system. After a year of looking on the West Coast, East Coast and Canada, he found the boat that was best suited for his fishing operation. Today both of his sons and another crewman work full time for the business and Bill's wife is the bookkeeper. The new boat has been in operation since December of 2011.
Dan Durbin, a former recreational fisherman and local business owner from San Jose, used a CFF loan to purchase his first commercial fishing boat, the F/V Golden Girl, along with permits to fish for Dungeness crab and salmon. Dan is dedicated to harvesting fish sustainably out of Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay, California. In 2013, new pot limits brought California’s Dungeness crab regulations on par with Oregon and Washington, leveling the playing field between the three states where there is often cross-over in fishing effort. The hope is that the new regulation will reduce fishing capacity, decrease competition on the water, increase safety and reduce the amount of lost gear in the sea.
Donald Marshall, a former plumber and HVAC technician, received a loan from CFF which helped him to buy a crab permit for his boat, the F/V Janet E. Donald, who has fished since the age of 5, fulfilled his life-long passion when he became a full-time fisherman four years ago. Don sells directly off the dock in Half Moon Bay at Pillar Point Harbor.
Lucas Clark has extensive fishing crew experience in California and Alaska, in crab and sablefish in particular. He now captains the F/V Sea, based in his hometown of Fort Bragg, California, where he fishes for Dungeness crab, salmon and black cod.
Morro Bay Community Quota Fund is an organization dedicated to ensuring a financially stable and environmentally sustainable Morro Bay fishery. The organization is committed to a “triple bottom line” mission (social, economic and environmental) that includes local stewardship of groundfish resources, support for marine dependent infrastructure and services in Morro Bay, and that provides for the next generation of smaller boat fishermen. Visit their website here.
Owen Hackleman knows the ocean well, having fished most of his life and having earned a marine science degree from Cal Poly. He began fishing commercially with his dad and then CFF helped him buy his first fishing vessel, the F/V Provision. Owen fishes in the limited entry groundfish fishery using sustainable fishing gear to catch thornyheads and rockfish, focusing primarily on the live fish market.
Steve Fitz, captain of the F/V Mr. Morgan, continues his family tradition, operating the only commercial fishing operation in the United States that uses Scottish Seine gear, a selective and eco-friendly way to catch groundfish. Steve’s loan from the CFF helped him buy the Mr. Morgan from his uncle and start up Mr. Morgan Fisheries, a fishing business based in Half Moon Bay, specializing in sustainably harvested groundfish and Dungeness crab. Mr. Morgan Fisheries is known for its sand dabs, Petrale sole and chilipepper rockfish.