Who’s reeling in the catch?
This lot of assiduous, wader-wearing sea-farers are the ones to thank for your meal. Fishing for a living is not for the faint of heart, waking up when most of us are deep in our R.E.M cycle, braving only but the toughest elements, and spending time away from their families, they are fishermen because they adore what they do and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Their passion for their work runs as deep as Monterey Canyon (and sometimes as long), as does their commitment to maintaining the resilience of fish stocks and a healthy ocean by using catch methods that minimize environmental impacts. With each bite you take you are helping to secure their future and reviving Monterey’s rich heritage in commercial fishing!
Fishing Vessel (F/V): Efishent
Home Port: Santa Cruz
On top of his boat bearing one of the more distinctly punny names out there, Captain Brendan has a vast amount of experience fishing up and down the coast of California. While he often targets Lingcod and Rockfish species using hook and line, he gets great enjoyment out of targeting Halibut, CA White Seabass, and CA Yellowtail when they are in season too. He’s resided in the greater Santa Cruz area for over a decade. Can’t deny that smile, and the immense amount of pride and joy apparent on his face in being one of your local fishermen.
Fishing Vessel (F/V): Aloof
Home Port: Moss Landing
Norman has been fishing the Monterey Bay for over a decade mainly outside of Moss Landing and Monterey harbors. His skills in operating hook-n-line are rather uncanny; he often catches even when the bite is slow. He fishes for salmon, CA halibut, and Lingcod on a Boston Whaler skiff and, while it’s not the fanciest, it has seen more fish on its deck than most others - proving that it’s the aptitude of the fisherman and not tech that determines what and how much he/she might catch.
Fishing Vessel (F/V): Sculpin
Home port: Moss Landing
Captain Chris Seeno grew up in Monterey, CA and attended Seaside High School. He is known throughout the Bay skilled groundfish fisherman often leading the fleet in scores of Ca Halibut or White Seabass when in season. This year he captained his new King Salmon vessel the FV Sculpin and had a great year. He is very hard working and as a fellow fisherman once said "he is willing to go the distance to find the fish".
Fishing Vessel (F/V): Grinder & Pioneer
Home port: Santa Cruz
There are few people who are as excited to get up in the morning and go to work as David Toriumi, 36, a Watsonville native who fishes out of Santa Cruz. Toriumi made his passion a profession and still hasn’t lost his youthful enthusiasm for the sea in doing so. Toriumi is an auto mechanic by trade and started his career working at his father’s car shop, Toriumi Auto Repair, in Watsonville.
At the suggestion of friends who knew his love of fishing, he went up to Alaska’s Bristol Bay in the early summer of 2007 to fish for sockeye salmon. He liked the experience so much he returned the following six summers. “I was tired of working on cars at my dad’s shop,” he says. “Fishing isn’t like a land job: the more you put in it, the more you get out of it.” So Toriumi made fishing his year-round profession and went all in on Monterey Bay fisheries, purchasing the 22-foot F/V Pioneer in 2014 to fish for king salmon, halibut, seabass, lingcod and sand dabs.
Now he’s making another investment in local fisheries, buying the 33-foot F/V Grinder and a 250-pot Dungeness crab permit. But, commercial fishing is more than fun and freedom of the ocean. Part of what drives Toriumi is connecting local people to local seafood.I want people to know ‘the fish of the day’ was a fish just kicking yesterday!
Fishing Vessel (F/V): Krazy Kate
Home port: Santa Cruz
Frank Cunningham is a relatively young but experienced local fisherman who grew up and was raised in the Monterey area. He fishes hook and line, reeling each fish in one at a time. He primarily targets Lingcod, White Seabass, and California Halibut.
CHARLIE LAMBERT & IAN COLE
Fishing Vessel (F/V): Killer Whaler
Home port: Santa Cruz
Having met each other in school, Ian and Charlie began exploring their passion to make fresh, local seafood accessible to their communities. They were frustrated by the amount of imported fish in local restaurants, and the amount of locally caught fish that was being exported. They saw an opportunity to bring local seafood to their community, and In 2013 they launched Ocean2Table, a community supported fishery based out of Santa Cruz.
The goal of Ocean2Table is to deliver fresh fish (within one day of being caught), while also educating the consumer about where their fish is coming from. Ocean2Table prides itself on released the catch date of their fish, thereby ensuring the consumer receives the freshest fish possible. They source seasonally from all fisheries throughout the Monterey Bay. In an effort to keep the quality of their product high, Charlie and Ian do all their own offloading, processing and bagging. In doing so, they have developed relationships with the entire fishing community, from the fisherman to the customers.
One of their favorite aspects of Ocean2Table is getting to interact with their local community. Ocean2Table has already grown substantially since its launch in 2013, with 25 subscribers and 1 pick-up location, to over 4,000 subscribers and 40 pick-up locations. As their CSF continues to grow, Ian and Charlie are excited to share the pillars of Ocean2Table: sustainability, traceability and a local movement with the community.