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Chinese Fishermen on the Channel Islands

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Date: February 1, 2008
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

Chinese fishermen were attracted to California due to the rich variety of marine life and seemingly endless supply of delicacies such as shrimp, abalone, and shark.  Bentz will discuss her research of California built Chinese junks and the camp sites associated with Chinese abalone fisherman on the Channel Islands. She will reveal some of the stories of individual fishermen and bring to light how they established a viable fishery using traditional methods. Bentz will also explain how the establishment of state and federal regulations contributed to the decline of this fishery.
Bentz, a historical consultant, has studied the historic Chinese communities in Ventura, Oxnard, Santa Barbara, and Cambria and the Channel Islands.  She has published essays in numerous books, journals, and newsletters. Bentz researched and co-wrote the script for the documentary, Courage and Contributions: the Chinese in Ventura County.  Bentz is also the historian for the Ventura County Chinese American Historical Society. 

The “From Shore to Sea” lecture series is jointly sponsored by Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary with generous support from Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. The purpose of the series is to further the understanding of research on the Channel Islands and surrounding waters. The lectures will occur at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 12, 2008, at Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way in the Santa Barbara Harbor and Wednesday, February 13, 2008, at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center, 1901 Spinnaker Drive in the Ventura Harbor. The programs are free and open to the public.

Did You Know?

Santa Barbara Island live-forever                 timhaufphotography.com

The Channel Islands are often called the "North American Galapagos" because they are home to over 150 endemic or unique species.