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Fisheries Enhancement Fund

Santa Barbara County has funded 24 programs or projects through the Fisheries Enhancement Fund (FEF). The County established this fund in 1987 to help mitigate significant impacts of offshore oil and gas development to commercial fisheries and the local commercial fishing industry. Such impacts include:
  • Preclusion from historic fishing grounds due to presence of facilities or designated navigational lanes.
  • Altering the distribution and abundance of fisheries through oil spills, drilling mud discharges, noise and vibration.
  • Competition for onshore resources, such as harbors and piers.
  • Interference with certain fishing operations due to the marine vessel traffic associated with offshore oil and gas development.

The fund is currently supported by mitigation fees paid by two offshore oil/gas projects: Point Arguello and Point Pedernales oil and gas production projects. The Gaviota Marine Terminal used to pay into FEF but was no longer required to after the marine terminal was abandoned.

The following table lists the programs and projects funded thus far. Currently, the Safety Equipment Reimbursement Program is the only program that is being funded. Click here for an application.




Brief Description

California Sea Grant Newsletter

Marine Advisory Program

$ 5,000

Published newsletter about fisheries affairs and updates on fishing and oilfield activity

Santa Barbara Harbor Ice Machine

Santa Barbara City


Purchased and installed new ice machine at the harbor

Santa Barbara Harbor Fishermen's Market

Santa Barbara Fishermen's Association


Paid for one-year, start-up costs for the fishermen's market at Santa Barbara Harbor

Abalone Juveniles, Feasibility Study

University of Delaware, College of Marine Studies


Analyzed feasibility of replenishing abalone stocks on the south-central California coast and Channel Islands

Waypoint newsletter

Ventura County Commercial Fishermen's Association


Paid for two-year start-up costs for a newsletter about fisheries affairs with updates on fishing and oilfield activity

Live-Fish Receivers, Feasibility Study

EJL & Associates


Analyzed feasibility of installing live-fish holding tanks at Santa Barbara Harbor

New Fish Hoist at Santa Barbara Harbor

City of Santa Barbara


Installed new fish hoist on dock (due to increased congestion at SB Harbor)

Grappling Hook & Gear

Southern California Trawlers Association


Purchased equipment to retrieve and repair fishing nets snagged on subsea debris

Seafood Safety Grant Program

Administered by County


Reimbursed fishermen for equipment to maintain seafood in fresh state.

Weather III, Phase I

County of Santa Barbara & National Weather Service


Installed weather broadcast for mariners

Weather III, Phase 2

County of Santa Barbara & National Parks Service


Installed weather station on east end of Anacapa Island.

Fishwalk Interpretive Panels - Santa Barbara Harbor

Santa Barbara County and Santa Barbara City


Installed 9 interpretative panels depicting regional commercial fishing

Safety Equipment Reimbursement Program

Santa Barbara County


Reimbursed fisherment for specific safety equipment (EPIRBs, life rafts, flares, etc).

Promote Santa Barbara Fishermen's Market

Santa Barbara Fishermen's Association


Promoted SB Fishermen's Market by advertising in Asian and Latino publications, funded a fish-cutting facility, and funded one-year costs to run a shuttle to the event.

Morro Bay Net Repair Area

Morro Bay Commercial Fisherman Organization


Asphalted two areas for storing fishing equipment and repairing nets at the Morro Bay harbor

Computer Upgrades – Morro  Bay Fishermen's Informational Center

Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen Organization


Upgraded computer system of offshore weather patterns and water temperatures

Channel Islands Harbor, Inventory of Infrastructure

Ventura County Commercial Fishermen's Association


Inventoried infrastructure that supports the commercial fishing industry at Channel Islands Harbor

Channel Islands Harbor Fish Hoist

Ventura County Commercial Fishermen's Association


Repaired a fish hoist at the Channel Islands Harbor

California Golden Seas

California Seafood Council


Translated and disseminated California's Golden Seas curriculum for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders

Research Abalone Stocks

University of California at Santa Barbara


Surveyed abalone populations in the Santa Barbara Channel for sabellid worm infestation.

Fishers’ Gear Storage Area

Commercial Fishermen’s of Santa Barbara, Inc.


Made improvements to storage area and paid for two-years of management.

Fisheries Resource Assessment

Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara, Inc.



Chinook Salmon Rearing Project

Commercial Fishermen’s of Santa Barbara, Inc.


Expanded the Chinook salmon rearing project from 70,000 to 140,000 fish

San Miguel Island Red Abalone Habitat Study

California Abalone Association


Mapped the extent of abalone habitat and density around San Miguel Island

Please review the Fisheries Enhancement Fund Guidelines and the 2000 Mitigation Plan for more information about the Fisheries Enhancement Fund.

Contact Kathy Pfeifer (, (805) 568-2507, for more information.

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