Meet the Sea Forager

The Sea Forager’s Guide to the Northern California Coast
by Kirk Lombard with illustrations by Leighton Kelly
(Heyday Books, 2016)

Author and fisherman Kirk Lombard shares fish-filled tales
at the Berkeley Public Library:
Saturday January 7, 2–3:30pm
3rd Floor Community Meeting Room
2090 Kittredge St, Berkeley
Event info: here

Book review by Kristina Sepetys

Moss Beach resident Kirk Lombard is many things: writer, teacher, musician, actor, blogger, raconteur, commercial fisherman, puppet master, tenor, baseball historian, and maker of giant papier mâché faces. Having spent nearly a decade working for the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, he’s also passionate about marine resources. Together with his wife, Camilla Lombard, he founded Sea Forager Tours and Sustainable Seafood Subscription (a Community Supported Fishery program). On his “fun and crazy” San Francisco tours, he pulls out edible fish and seafood from local urban waters and discusses local regulations, sustainability, and the history of local fisheries, among other topics.

In his new book, The Sea Forager’s Guide to the Northern California Coast, Lombard’s enthusiasm of our local marine environments shines brightly. He combines his deep knowledge and experience with wry humor and colorful storytelling to profile the many species of fish and seafood found locally as he guides readers’ quests to hook fish, dig clams, and pick seaweed. Lombard notes a special distinction of Northern California fisheries: “We have been blessed with some of the most famously delicious small fishes on the planet, but curiously, the mainstream seafood-eating populace does not seem interested in any of them.” He says that most of these small fishes are abundant, close to shore, and relatively easy to catch. Enhanced by simple recipes and Leighton Kelly’s illustrations, the book is a helpful reference for fisherfolk, cooks, coastal explorers, and anyone interested in our local marine environment.