Discover California
Commercial Fisheries

From Crescent City in the north to San Diego in the south - California fisheries are complex and dynamic systems where people and nature are inextricably linked. Learn more about these fishing communities which provide a diverse supply of seafood and a visible reminder of California's maritime heritage.

fishing communities

Fishing Communities

Fishing communities are an important part of California’s maritime heritage and economy and its coastal and ocean ecosystems. Viable commercial fisheries require not only healthy marine resources and habitat, but also people and businesses to support fishing activities. Those activities, in turn, support local economies and provide seafood to consumers.


Fishing Seasonality

The timing of individual fisheries varies from region to region and year to year due to:

  • Regulations
  • Market demand
  • Resource availability



Located along the state's 1,100-mile coastline, California fisheries and fishing communities are many and diverse. We have divided the state into five regions, based on fishing activity, regional market patterns, and state and federal management.

California's North Coast region extends from the Oregon border (Del Norte County) south to Point Arena in Mendocino County. People living in this isolated part of the state have long used fishery resources for livelihood, sport and subsistence.

Oregon Border to Point Arena

The North Central Coast region extends from south of Point Arena in southern Mendocino County to Half Moon Bay in San Mateo County, and includes San Francisco Bay.

South of Point Arena to Half Moon Bay

The Central Coast region extends from Santa Cruz County south along Monterey Bay and the isolated Big Sur coast in Monterey County, to Morro Bay and Avila in southern San Luis Obispo County.

South of Half Moon Bay to Point Conception

The Santa Barbara Channel (SBC) region extends from Point Conception in Santa Barbara County south to Point Dume in Ventura County and includes the four Northern Channel Islands.

Point conception to Point Dume

The South Coast region includes several fishing communities in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. Historically, this area was known as the “tuna capital of the world," hosting a large fleet of tuna seiners and tuna-processing canneries, along with a variety of other fisheries

Point Dume to Mexico border