Cannery Row is the waterfront street in the New Monterey section of Monterey, California. It is the site of a number of now-defunct sardine canning factories. The last cannery closed in 1973. The street name, formerly a nickname for Ocean View Avenue, became official in January 1958 to honor John Steinbeck and his well-known novel Cannery Row.
The canneries failed after the collapse of the fishing industry in Monterey Bay in the mid-1950s, which resulted from a combination of factors, including unfavorable oceanic conditions, over-fishing, and competition from other species. In his investigation of where the sardines had gone, Ed Ricketts finally concluded “They’re in cans.” Before the collapse, the fishery was one of the most productive in the world due to the upwelling of cold, yet nutrient-rich water from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean that is funneled to the surface via the vast underwater Monterey Canyon.
Photographed May 2017.