Geoff Bettencourt is a fourth-generation Point Pillar Harbor commercial fisherman. Geoff began fishing salmon with his grandfather and father before he was tall enough to see over the boat’s railing. In high school, he continued to fish for salmon and crab and trawling for rockfish, halibut, and sole. Geoff and his Dad bought the Moriah Lee in 1997 to continue fishing for Dungeness crab, groundfish, and salmon. Although Geoff started out heavily invested in the bottom trawl fishery, he has taken the business in a new direction by embracing sustainable fishing and undergoing a major gear shift to environmentally-friendly traps for black cod. Geoff realizes he has many years ahead of him and the only way to both protect the resource and secure his family’s future is to combine that old school honor & wisdom with a progressive modern approach to the future of fishing.
Steve Fitz is a second generation fisherman and Owner/operator of the fishing vessel, Mr. Morgan, out of Pillar Point Harbor. Steve grew up in Massachusetts, where he watched his father and uncle return from Georges Bank with abundant loads of cod. Steve followed in their footsteps, working summers and winter breaks during college to help finance his tuition and earn a degree in business. After 25 years and multiple fisheries, the Mr. Morgan has become his passion. Today, Mr. Morgan is the only vessel left in the United States using Scottish seines, a method that is considered to be environmentally-friendly and harvests high-quality sand dabs, sole, halibut, and rockfish for the local markets.
Lisa (Bettencourt) Damrosch spent her childhood in a commercial fishing family where the men had worked the ocean from Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay for generations. After taking a break from a successful sales and marketing career to raise her son, the advent of Catch Shares management created an opportunity for Lisa to join her brother and father in the family business. Lisa began by handling quota management and operating as a First Receiver. In 2012 she created the Bettencourt Fisheries arm of the business through which she has been able to successfully market her brother's catch. In 2013, at the request of her brother and fellow groundfisherman Steve Fitz, Lisa facilitated the creation of the Half Moon Bay Groundfish Marketing Association for which she is now the Executive Director.