Chris Franks doesn’t come from a long line of fishermen, but if you ask his mother, fishing has been a fascination for him since before he could walk.
As a child, he would watch a neighbor boy fish in the local pond, and at the age of three, he asked for his first fishing pole. At thirteen, Chris got a job on a sport fishing boat, but it was during his tenure at San Rafael’s iconic tackle and seafood shop, Western Boat, that he truly noticed the difference in quality between fish purchased from local fishermen vs. those purchased from large wholesalers. Since that time, Chris has dedicated his career to practicing and advocating for sustainable fishing methods.
Because Chris has built his career around quality and sustainability, he has always used the hook and line method to catch his fish.
Chris favors hook and line fishing because it drastically reduces by-catch (other species of marine life being unintentionally caught) and allows him to be more selective in terms of the size and species of the fish he catches. In the event that Chris catches a species of fish he was not targeting, he is able to immediately release the fish back into the ocean. This is not possible with the gill nets or drag nets employed by many larger fishing operations, which result in high levels of by-catch. Additionally, unlike dredging or trawling, the hook and line fishing method does not involve contact with the ocean floor, which can cause habitat damage.
You can find Chris out on the water in between Half Moon Bay and Bodega Bay seven days a week.
He delivers his catch daily to ensure the freshest product available to the markets and restaurants he works with. Because he catches fish one at a time, each one is handled with the utmost care. The fish Chris catches never even touch the deck of his boat, as this can cause the meat to bruise. While he specializes in Halibut, he also offers Rock Fish, Ling Cod and Salmon.
There are a number of ways to support local fishermen like Chris. Customers should always ask their local market or restaurant where their fish is coming from, as well as the method used to catch the fish. At Good Earth, we work with our nonprofit partner, FishWise, to provide sustainability ratings for all of the seafood we carry. We only carry wild-caught fish, and our seafood signs include the catch method, location, and a green or yellow rating to indicate sustainable options and good alternatives. We not sell red-rated seafood. If you frequent a restaurant or market that doesn’t offer hook and line caught fish, you can encourage them to start carrying it. Not only are you supporting small, local businesses when you do this, but you are ensuring a sustainable fishery and healthy ocean for generations to come. You can find fish from Chris Franks in our Fairfax Seafood Department.