Monterey Bay Fishermen Prepare for Potential Salmon Fishing Season Cancellation

As deliberations about the fate of salmon fishing off the California coast continue, fishermen in the Monterey Bay area are gearing up for what could be another challenging season. With the last two California salmon fishing seasons already canceled, there’s growing concern that this year might see a similar outcome.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) has indicated that more drastic measures are being considered for the upcoming fishing season. These measures may include restricting the season or even shutting it down entirely. However, for those whose livelihoods depend on salmon fishing, the options on the table are frustrating.

Tim Obert, president of the Commercial Fishermen’s Association, expressed the limitations faced by fishermen in addressing the issue. “There’s only so much we can do as fishermen. We can stop harvesting the fish, but we really need to step up and rebuild the stock,” Obert remarked.

The PFMC has cited below-average salmon population levels in California, indicating that they are too low to support a fishing season this year. Environmental challenges, including the severe drought and warmer ocean waters, have had a significant impact on salmon populations. These factors have disrupted salmon spawning habitats and life cycles.

Nate Mantua, a research scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), highlighted the ongoing struggle of salmon to survive and complete their life cycle. “We’re still not seeing a lot of fish surviving, returning to the rivers to complete their life cycle and sustain the abundance needed for reliable fisheries,” Mantua explained.

While the future of the California fishing season hangs in the balance, both officials and fishermen emphasize the importance of making decisions that prioritize the well-being of the salmon population and ensure a sustainable fishing industry for the future.

Image/Source: KSBW

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