As commercial fishermen threw out their lines at the stroke of midnight with hopes of reeling in the first of this year’s salmon Thursday, unfavorable drought conditions and Pillar Point Harbor politics have some worried about the years ahead.
Jake Bunch, a marine biologist, commercial fisherman and captain of the Sadie K, is fairly new in the fishing industry. Bunch said he decided to take to the seas in 2012 and now brings home fresh salmon and crab to sell off his boat at Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay.
“The local movement now is huge, so people are willing to pay for stuff that’s harvested locally which is great for us,” Bunch said. “What I try to do is sell everything I can off the boat. … I did about half of my total revenue of off-the-boat sales last year.”
Commercial season began Thursday and runs through Aug. 29 with a two-week break in the beginning of July. Yet statewide drought conditions, conservation efforts, local fish buying fees and tension over a new hoist at Johnson Pier have some fishermen worried.