According to a recent report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, California is seeing an uptick in commercial fishing numbers after they were declared an economic disaster in 2000. The increases appear to be primarily due to groundfish fisherman numbers.
The federal regulators showed that West Coast groundfish fishery yielded $54 million in 2011, up from the average of $38 million in the five years prior. A new system of catch shares, which limits the amount of fish that can be caught without devastating the industry, seemed to have aided in the recovery.
"When the disaster declaration came on line, for several years after that, this fishery was in a very bad situation," Frank Lockhart of the National Marine Fisheries Service, told the Daily Journal. "A lot of people were losing money, and on average, the fleet as a whole was losing money. "What it looks like now, in 2011, the first year of catch shares, they were able to turn that around, and more people are making more money."
As fishing numbers are expected to improve, fisherman need to be ready as the season is just around the corner. Those taking to the outdoors in the new year should equip their vehicle with Husky Liners® mud flaps to protect their exterior.