Why Fresh Fish in Santa Barbara CA is Sustainable

Updated October 2023

The second Saturday in October celebrates fresh fish in Santa Barbara by honoring its working harbor with over 100 active fisherpeople. It has always been an excellent time to explore the area, meet local fisherpeople, and enjoy the unbridled wonder of eating fresh – as in really fresh – seafood! Fresh fish in Santa Barbara is always a treat! Come and enjoy the best, freshest seafood in the area. It’s amazing what we have in our “backyard.”

Santa Barbara Channel

The Santa Barbara Channel is one of the country’s richest sources of high-quality seafood. The industry brings over $30 million to the area through its hard-working lifestyle that remains vibrant despite the many hurdles facing independent businesses. The harbor has over 100 small-boat fisherpeople who catch 6-10 million pounds of seafood annually. Their commitment to protecting their supply and the environment is one of the key reasons Santa Barbara has not suffered from over-fishing issues that have depleted other areas worldwide. The Santa Barbara fishing supply remains abundant and sustainable. Whether you’re an avowed pescatarian or just have a craving for cod, bass, yellowtail, halibut, tuna, sea cucumber, crab, lobster, or any of the more than 50 species that are caught in the waters off our shore, the fresh component makes the Santa Barbara fishing community a gem in our community.

Boats docked in Santa Barbara harbor with fishing boat chugging in Santa Barbara Harbor

The harbor is just a short walk from The Eagle Inn, and guests love seeing it in action – although most boats set out at dawn, the action is usually when the fisherpeople return with their catch.

Fisherman’s Market

On Saturdays, the Fisherman’s Market is open from dawn until the fish are gone, usually around lunchtime. Not only do you get to talk directly with the fisherpeople, but you can also place orders earlier in the week. The fresh catch will be ready for pickup on Saturday.

On other days, once they dock, the fisherpeople head directly to the popular Santa Barbara Fish Market to sell their catch. Lucky for us, the Santa Barbara Fish Market hours are daily — seven days a week, 9 am – 7 pm Sundays – Fridays and 7:30 am – 7 pm on Saturdays. You can also order fresh or frozen fish for shipping home within the lower 48 states. Once you have tasted our fresh fish during your visit, you can enjoy the delicious treats of Santa Barbara’s water in your own home.

Dining on Seafood in Santa Barbara

If you are visiting Santa Barbara, enjoy seafood delights at one of our many restaurants. Sitting at the Harbor, Brophy Brothers Clam Bar and Restaurant can satisfy your craving for clams, shrimp, and other local fish. Along the Waterfront, you will find the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company, Toma Restaurant and Bar, and the Bluewater Grill. If these suggestions aren’t sufficient, ask us for other options.

The Eagle Inn at the Hub of It All

Yes, the fresh fish in Santa Barbara is fantastic, but that is only one of the many reasons to spend time here. Whether the beach is calling you, the vineyards, or the history, The Eagle Inn is steps from anywhere you want to go! Book your roomy casita and get ready for a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway.

Photos courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara

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