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Main Office: 20 Lower Ragsdale Drive, Suite 100
Monterey, CA 93940
Information: (831) 649-2870, AskMarine@wildlife.ca.gov
State-Managed California Commercial Pacific Herring Fishery
- California Commercial Herring Fisheries Information
- Opportunities for Public Involvement and Input
- For additional information on Pacific herring or to report a herring spawning event, please contact Ryan Bartling, CDFW Environmental Scientist at Ryan.Bartling@wildlife.ca.gov, or (707) 576-2877.
Most herring fisheries occur during the spawning season. The roe herring gill net fisheries catch herring as they move into the shallows to spawn when the eggs have fully matured. The primary product from this fishery, kazunoko, is the sac roe (eggs) in the females which are processed and exported for sale to Japan. California's roe herring fisheries occur in the Crescent City Harbor area, Humboldt Bay, Tomales Bay, and San Francisco Bay. Fishing for fresh fish is also permitted in Tomales Bay and San Francisco Bay on a limited basis.
The San Francisco Bay herring eggs-on-kelp fishery suspends giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera, from rafts for herring to spawn on in shallow water areas. The kelp is harvested near the Channel Islands and/or in Monterey Bay and then transported to San Francisco Bay. The product of this fishery is the egg-coated kelp blades that are processed and exported to Japan. This product, komochi or kazunoko kombu, is typically served as an appetizer during New Year's celebrations.
California Environmental Quality Act and Annual Regulatory Process
- 2013 Final Supplemental Environmental Document for Pacific Herring
- California Fish and Game Commission: Decisions Pending and Opportunities for Public Participation
The Pacific herring commercial regulations are updated every year. In addition, potential environmental impacts of the fishery are addressed each year in an environmental document, in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Both the regulatory and CEQA processes provide the public with several opportunities each year to provide input to CDFW and the Commission on the management of California's Pacific herring resource.