The Fishing and Marine Industry Daily News Feed

California White Seabass Hatchery a Success

A recent earth-shattering genetics study shows that the California white seabass hatchery program has been far more successful than previously understood. It is now time for the state and its California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to course-correct and make this program a priority.

The recent success reported in efforts to restock white seabass off Southern California is the evidence needed for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to reprioritize the Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program (OREHP). A new study has found that the white seabass hatchery has made a far greater positive impact on wild fish population levels than previously reported. The fishing public strongly supports the CDFW hatchery program and contributes an estimated $1.7 million to OREHP annually. However, the state’s history of placing the hatchery low on its priority list has meant that funding to the Carlsbad-based white seabass hatchery has become woefully insufficient. Over the past ten years, the hatchery’s budget has shrunk by an estimated 50 percent in inflation-adjusted terms, all while the demands on the hatchery have increased.

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