Picture a warm and cozy street nestled deep in the heart of Berkeley, with community members walking down the street and shops lining the sidewalks. Its the middle of the day and the perfect temperature of just above 60 degrees. Now picture a tiny fish market resting between two corners shops. Not something you’d think you would find on Hopkins Street in Berkeley, given the quiet area. When most of us think of fish markets, we think of large commercial size markets, overflowing with an all too abundant supply of seafood. However Monterey Fish Market is one seafood market that differentiates from the others. Nesting between two other shops, lies the market and one inspirational story of how family and the belief of sustainability created something truly commendable.
Upon walking into the market, I met one of the market specialists, Trevor. Right away I could feel his enthusiasm and passion for the market and knew we would walk away with some valuable history and information about the market…
The Market’s story begins in 1979 when Trevor’s family decided to open up the market. Although the market began and stayed small, there is importance to that, seeing that the market is able to hone in on individual clients, but also successful enough to buy the best local quality of seafood. Products of the market are all seasonal and are mostly from the West Coast but there are some exceptions including seafood that is sourced from the East Coast and Alaska.
In addition to buying locally, the market displays a tremendous amount of effort when it comes to the environment, all thanks to the family’s belief in sustainability. When talking to Trevor, he stressed how important sustainable fishing methods are to him and his family, and how it is important that all fisheries try and implement that. He then motioned me to join him behind the counter where he pulled up the Market’s website and showed me the sustainability page. Here the Market has dedicated a whole section of the website to educating costumers about sustainable fishing practices. This portion of the website includes Longlining methods, Dragging methods, Seining, Gilnetting, Dragging, Hooking and Lining, and additional sustainability methods dealing with shellfish.
Monterey Fish Market separates itself from other markets in its profound belief of sustainability and care for its products. With all the negative stigma that circulates around seafood markets, it is comforting to know that this market is making efforts to break away from harmful and unsustainable methods and promote sustainability. Although small and local, the market is seen by many as powerful for its efforts to be different.