San Diego Commercial Seafood Profiles

Why buy locally sourced seafood?

Buying local is important for many reasons; there are environmental, economic and social benefits (more info can be found here). But, many of the approximately 60 species landed in San Diego throughout the year are unknown to most San Diegans. Below is a list of fact sheets summarizing information on the biology, fishery, nutrition and culinary uses of species landed or farmed in San Diego. We hope to create a set of fact sheets for every one of the species fished or farmed in coastal San Diego County. 

This list and the profiles are a work in progress. Species with bolded names have downloadable profiles accessible through links on the sidebar. 

If you see errors or have suggestions for improvement, please let us know by email:


San Diego's Seafood Species


Common Name 

Scientific Name

Commercial Fishing Season

Anchovy, Northern

Engrualis mordax

No designated season

Barracuda, California

Sphyraena argentea No designated season
Bonito, Pacific

Sarda chiliensis

No designated season

Cabezon Scorpaenichthys marmoratus Open May 1 to February 28


Crab, Box Lopholithodes foraminatus No designated season

Crab, Red Rock, Yellow Rock and Brown Rock

Cancer productus, Metacarcinus anthonyi, Romaleon antennarius 

No designated season

Crab, Razor (or Fragile) Metacarcinus gracilis No designated season

Crab, Scarlet king Lithodes couesi No designated season

Crab, Spider (California king crab, Sheep crab) Loxorhynchus grandis No designated season


Dorado (Mahi mahi, Dolphinfish) Coryphaena hippurus No designated season

Lepidocybium flavobrunneum

No designated season

Guitarfish, Shovelnose Rhinobatos productus No designated season
Halfmoon (Blue perch) Medialuna californiensis No designated season

Halibut, California Paralichthys californicus

Open June 16 to March 14 (trawl);
Year-round (other gear)

Lingcod Ophiodon elongatus Open May to February
Lobster, California spiny

Panulirus interruptus

Open October to March
Louvar (Luvar) Luvarus imperialis No designated season

Mackerel, Jack Trachurus symmetricus  No designated season

Mackerel, Pacific (Chub mackerel, Spanish mackerel) Scomber japonicus Open year-round, while abundant

Monchong (Pomfret) 

Taractichthys steindachneri, Eumegistus illustris No designated season

Mussel, Mediterranean Mytilus galloprovincialis Open year-round (farmed)

Octopus, Giant Pacific Enteroctopus dofleini No designated season

Octopus, Two spot Octopus bimaculoides No designated season

Opah Lampris guttatus No designated season

Oyster, Olympia Ostrea lurida Open year-round (when farmed)

Oyster, Pacific Crassostrea gigas Open year-round (farmed)

Perch, Black Embiotoca jacksoni Open August 1 to April 30

Ray, Bat Myliobatis californica No designated season
Ridgeback prawn Sicyonia ingentis Open October 1 to May 31 (trawl)

Rockfish, Blackgill Sebastes melanostromus Open May to February

Rockfish, Thornyhead Sebastolobus altivelis, Sebastolobus alascanus No designated season
Rockfish, Vermilion Sebastes miniatus Open May to February

Sablefish (Black cod) Anoplopoma fimbria No designated season

Sanddab Citharichthys sordidus, Citharichthys xanthostigma No designated season

Sardine, Pacific Sardinops sagax Open year-round, when abundant

Sea cucumber, California Parastichopus californicus Open year-round; trawl in California Halibut trawl grounds open June 16 to March 14

Sea urchin, Purple Strongylocentrotus purpuratus Open year-round

Sea urchin, Red Strongylocentrotus franciscanus Open November to May, seven days a week; and June to October, Monday through Thursday
Seaweed, Red ogo Gracilaria pacifica Open year-round (farmed)

Shark, Leopard Triakis semifasciata No designated season

Shark, Pacific shortfin mako Isurus oxyrinchus Open May 1 to January 31 (drift gillnet)

Shark, Soupfin Galeorhinus zyopterus No designated season

Shark, Thresher Alopias vulpinus, Alopias pelagicus, Alopias superciliosus Open May 1 to January 31 (drift gillnet)

Sheephead, California Semicossyphus pulcher Open May 1 to February 28

Skate, Big Raja binoculata No designated season

Skate, California Raja inornata No designated season

Snail, Wavy turban (Top snail) Megastrea undosa No designated season

Spot prawn Pandalus platyceros Open February 1 to October 31

Squid, Market Doryteuthis (Loligo) opalescens Open year-round, closed from noon Friday to noon Sunday every week

Swordfish Xiphias gladius Open May 1 to January 31 (drift gillnet); year-round (hook and line and harpoon)

Tuna, Albacore Thunnus alalunga Open year-round; closed to large purse seiners for a period of 62 days, from July 29 to September 28, or from November 18 to January 18

Tuna, Pacific bluefin Thunnus orientalis

Open year-round, until yearly catch limit is met; closed to large purse seiners for a period of 62 days, from July 29 to September 28, or from November 18 to January 18 

Tuna, Pacific skipjack (Ocean bonito) Katsuwonus pelamis Open year-round; closed to large purse seiners for a period of 62 days, from July 29 to September 28, or from November 18 to January 18

Tuna, Yellowfin Thunnus albacares Open year-round; closed to large purse seiners for a period of 62 days, from July 29 to September 28, or from November 18 to January 18

Wahoo, Pacific Acanthocybium solandri No designated season

Whelk, Kellet's Kelletia kelleti Open July to March

Whitefish, Ocean Caulolatilus princeps No designated season
White seabass Atractoscion nobilis Open June 16 to March 14

Yellowtail Seriola lalandi No designated season

Recommended citation of these sheets: Dr. Theresa Sinicrope Talley, et al. (see list of names at the bottom of each sheet). 2014. Seafood Profiles: Commercial species of San Diego.

Acknowledgments: We are grateful to Collaborative Fisheries Research West and Ocean Protection Council for initial funding for these profiles.