San Miguel Island Closure
In the interest of public safety, the U.S. Navy is closing San Miguel Island until further notice due to recent concerns of possible unexploded ordnance. More »
Santa Barbara Island Closed Due to Storm Damage
Santa Barbara Island is closed to public access due to damage from the recent storms to the pier landing ladder. The closure will be in place until a new ladder can be fabricated and installed. The closure is expected to last over a month. More »
Public Closures on Santa Barbara Island
Certain Santa Barbara Island trails are closed to all public entry to proctect breeding populations of California brown pelicans. More »
Chinese Abalone Fishermen
This article was written by Michael Redmon. He is a columnist for The Santa Barbara Independent newspaper, in which this piece originally ran. For more, visit independent.com.
Traditionally, the Santa Barbara Channel has been one of the richest fishing areas of the Pacific coast. Yet, a commercial fishing industry did not develop in the Santa Barbara area until the 1870s. By the turn of the century, Santa Barbara was home to one of California's most successful fishing enterprises.
Important to the early development of the local fishing industry was the abalone fishery. The Chumash utilized the colorful shells of the abalone for adornment and as a medium of exchange. Fish was not an important part of the diets of either the South Coast's Spanish or Mexican settlers, so it was not until the arrival of the Chinese in this area in the mid 1860s that fishing for abalone became a significant industry.
By the turn of the century, Santa Barbara was home to one of California’s most successful fishing enterprises.
Did You Know?
The only reptile found on Santa Barbara Island is the endemic and threatened island night lizard. These lizards can live up to 20 years or more, but once established in a territory generally remain within a 3-meter radius their entire life.