Two Very Different Ports–Shelter Cove and Eureka–Asked to Help Develop Fishing Community Sustainability Plans

crop of a flyer for public meeting on Shelter Cove port

Cropped image from PSA about the meeting on Shelter Cove port.

If you had $5 million to spend on either the Shelter Cove or the Eureka port, what would you do with it and why? That’s a question that will be asked at two upcoming meetings looking at ways to improve both areas, particularly for the fishing industry.

Laura Casali, Rob Dumouchel, and Wyatt Smith working under Professor Laurie Richmond, Ph.D., in concert with Lisa Wise Consulting, are developing Fishing Community Sustainability Plans for both Eureka and Shelter Cove.  The project is funded by NOAA’s Saltonstall-Kennedy program. Dr. Richmond is an assistant professor in the Environmental Science and Management Department whose bio says she explores “the connections between social and ecological systems.”

The project examines the sustainability of the fishing industry.  Shelter Cove lost the vast majority of its fleet over the last few decades and only has a handful of active fishing vessels remaining, while Eureka has fewer than 200 boats actively fishing.

The researchers’ Press Release describes the plans and their purpose.

Fishing Community Sustainability Plans (CSPs) are a way for fishermen to have a direct impact on the future of their port and their industry. CSP planning is a process that involves working with stakeholders in fishing and waterfront activities to assess community needs and develop a list of recommendations to take to improve the sustainability of their ports.

A key focus of the plan will be the commercial fishing industry but the process incorporates a wide range of waterfront interests including: commercial fishing, charter and recreational fishing, mariculture, fish buyers/processors, marina services, support industries, tourism, and local government.  A CSP is a strategic document that will help the fishing community identify, communicate, and attain their goals for a stronger and more resilient future.

Shelter Cove Public Meeting Flyer_smaller (1)

The only area of Humboldt County’s fishing industry currently growing is the mariculture, or oyster, sector, according to Wyatt Smith, who is working on the project. Young people are entering into mariculture. The oyster growing community is tight-knit and working together, and it has the potential to make a significant contribution to the local economy helping to diversify the region’s agriculture market, he explained.

The researchers have already completed a year’s work on the planning projects for Shelter Cove and Eureka, California.  They have formed focus groups for both areas, conducted at least 100 one on one interviews with fishermen, elected officials, and residents, and are now going to community-wide meetings.

On the 27th and the 29th, everyone is invited to these events in Eureka and Shelter Cove respectively. This last set of meetings reaches out to hear from the general public whether you are involved directly in the fishing industry or not. Shelter Cove’s flyer is above; Eureka’s is below.  The flyers have all the relevant details of when and where.

The format will be very low-key. There will be tables and displays giving the communities a glance at what has been learned so far. And everyone who wants to may answer a question to discover their ideas and priorities for the ports: If you had $5 million to spend on this port, what would you do with it and why?

Eureka Public Meeting Flyer_smaller




  • I call BS.
    what the heck is $5mil gonna do at this point ?
    a lot more meetings for nada AGAIN.

    • No,no,no. It’s an imaginary $5million. If you want to spend it in studies, you may, but you can also spend it on actual work or people or whatever you think would most help. The imaginary money is a device to help you and the researchers determine what people really want to see get done.

  • Money should be applied to transportation of inland sea phytoplankton ,from n e Zacatecas,Mexico. 3 cents /Ton/mile.feeds ambient algae and causes 10 fold in growth,with water,light,warmth,co2 from is what fish eat,but is, element complete,due to era/ topography.causes reproduction.

  • Algae fed same from bloom,150 million years ago,has element content that doesn’t exist now.most elements,useful ones,are now in ocean.this is concentration from flood plane of North America,lowest spot,now risen to 6,000′ altitude.saltpans with 2 yard deep phytoplankton food but no fish.not oil yet.needs heat and pressure,for that.

  • Speaka da engrish?

  • Carbon seizing sponge bob.

  • I would turn it over to those who can make it flourish.
    Sustaining is just another word for never allowing flourishing circumstances.

  • It’s communist government employee plot to keep people off the beach, control access, and increase fees. The millions will never be enough and will have to be “subsidized” by increasing user fees more and more to pay government wages and pensions in an endless budget shortfall cycle. Leave us alone utility red coats.

  • Future of fishing is BRANDT. Lots’a $1000/day hunters.
    EEL GRASS… take a walk on the mudflats using hipboots!
    Home for Black Sturgeon (Well, you can’t fish ’em).
    Massive tourism on the bay by Kayakers using petroleum-based boats.
    Herring Fisheries ! 2 Boats for 2 weekends !

    Seriously speaking now…
    No water diversion out of Klamath, Trinity and Eel Rivers.
    Politically impossible due to $$$$.

  • Well Bozo, two out of three are on the horizon actually. The bureaucracy has not been developed to take dams out, so it’s going to take extra time, but pacificorp has said (and pg&e has indicated) they don’t want to spend money to keep their dams. So optimism and hard work are what lie ahead to get to free flowing streams on those two rivers.

  • >”… pacificorp has said (and pg&e has indicated) they don’t want to spend money to keep their dams.”

    Probably not in my lifetime.
    Wait till Mendo and Sonoma counties go dry… and see what happens.

  • How lame of a political offer by the very jerks who represent the government and their shallow concern.
    You created the closure zones and each year the areas available reduce and reduce and times open are now closed. You look the other direction when foreign ships come in and rape our fishable resource. Bull-hit! Less choices of fishing are now policy.Kiss off salmon fishing boys and girls. Unless you have a big expensive boat to go to the Cape and fish, you’re out of luck.
    We need to mention the Fuchishima radiation and the inedible fish showing up on our west coast. No mention of that fact anywhere in our media or government psas.
    The $5 million will be spent not on actual projects, but the employment of “advisors” and environmental groups, and fisheries advisors, and lackies taking all that money without any viable pier or launch or processing plant or tourist/fishing package deal or anything. It will all be eaten up by the “know it alls” . No laborers or construction companies will ever receive a dime.
    Its obvious that the gifters of this money “LOVE” the oysters industry so they’re bias and in conflict of interest.
    The $5 million is the Trojan horse of hope,but in reality the pit of darkness and nothingness.

    • Crime stopper has the picture, and conveys it eloquently!
      $5 million spent towards resurrecting the port infrastructure and connecting it to the national rail system might have led to real jobs and a tax base that could do a lot of real help for fisheries, recreation and tourism. Unfortunately, that will never happen.
      $5 Million dedicated to building an artificial reef close to the mouth of Humboldt Bay might actually improve fisheries.
      That will never happen. More studies and self sustaining consultants is where its at!

  • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

    Nothing gets me hungrier for seafood than a picture of a fishing boat with a dead pulp mill as backdrop.
    Nothing like a dead pulp mill to work up the appetite.

  • Is their any fish left? When I worked for Eureka fisheries the amount of fish that went thru there daily was mind blowing. Then slowly the fish disappeared.Is their any fish left?p.m.a (pardon my attitude)

  • C’mon lets be honest here, the over regulation makes things tight for people , much less hassle to grow weed.

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