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.
Roger Cullen is a commercial fisherman who fishes for groundfish, salmon, rock crab, and occasionally albacore and white sea bass. Roger has experimented with various types of nearshore trap designs, as well as long-line gear, with the intent of reducing bycatch and fishing more selectively. A commercial fisherman since 1989, he has also participated in research. In 2004, he began work with Cal Poly on cabezon tagging and has expanded to other trapping and data collection since the implementation of the MPA’s. In 2005, Roger became the Oregon Sea Grant Port Liaison for the Central Coast, working on a variety of research projects along the west coast. He was selected to fish EFP permits in Morro Bay in 2008, 2009 and 2010, and currently serves as President of the Central Coast Sustainable Groundfish Association.
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.
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.