There’s a whopper of a sea battle going on in Sacramento between environmentalists and Northern California’s recreational fishermen. The battle is about the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA). Passed in 1999, the MLPA sets up marine protection areas which limit or totally ban sport fishing. The MLPA is being implemented by the California Department of Fish and Game, who have already closed off 85 square miles of coastal water between San Mateo and Santa Barbara, representing 50% of the best fishing in the area.
Now the DFG proposes drastic limits to sport fishing between Pigeon Point and Mendocino by the end of this summer. Well-financed environmental groups such as the Resources Legacy Fund are out-gunning the sport fishing industry in lobbying Sacramento in favor of restrictions.
A consortium of sport fishing organizations, called the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans, has presented an alternative proposal to the DFC, called Proposal 2XA, that maintains a high level of conservation, but gives sport fishermen maximum access to good fishing. Proposal 2XA also seeks to minimize the negative impact on local communities along the coast that depend on revenue from sport fishing.
DFG has appointed a commission to recommend implementation of the PLPA. The commission is to meet May 13-14 to begin taking public comment on the competing proposals.
The partnership and the sport fishing organization, Keep America Fishing are urging sport fishermen to write letters in support of Proposal 2XA. For a suggested letter, click here.
For a report on other legislative action threatening recreational boating, see "Don't let Sacramento pirates hold your boat for ransom."