Fishers, seaweed harvesters and divers, side-by-side with local restaurateurs and retailers, are united against research they suspect is questionable, that's being undertaken to implement the state's 1999 Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative.

Many of the same people who attended a meeting in Fort Bragg last Tuesday were also at a day-long event in Point Arena on June 13; they're asking the same questions and saying the same things.

Livelihoods — jobs and economic well-being— of many individuals, families, small businesses and communities may be threatened by what is determined from research now being conducted for the "Fishery Data Collection and Analysis Project" on the North Coast by Ecotrust.

Ecotrust is a nonprofit conservation organization, located in Portland, Ore, retained under contract to conduct — through collection, compilation and analyses of information from commercial, passenger fishing vessels and recreational fisheries — socioeconomic research from Point Arena to the Oregon Border for MLPA.

Fishers and ancillary citizens are dubious about the process from start to finish, including the lack of adequate noticing of the Fort Bragg meeting.

Ecotrust representatives were the targets of universal hostility and welcomed with, "You're arriving here with zero political support."

"You're not helping anyone except weasels and weasel worshippers."

One man said, "Don't tell us it's all going to be OK," just before he stormed out of the meeting room at the Harbor Lite Lodge.