Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Eureka Reporter Editorial on MLPA

No Fishing. Are we next?

On Wednesday the state’s Fish and Game Commmission approved a plan to create marine reserves and parks for the coastline from Pigeon Point in San Mateo County north to Mendocino County’s Point Arena. Fishing will be prohibit­ing in about 11 percent of that coastline.

Plans are now underway to cover the North Coast to the Oregon border.

Will the plan impinge upon the economic viability of the North Coast’s commercial and recreational fishing ? We don’t yet know, but it is important that concerned citizens make their views known to elected officials and to the Fish and Game Commission.

One of the stated intentions of 1999’s Ma­rine Life Protection Act was to rebuild marine life stocks. The plan just approved covers the second of five zones for which plans must be created. Critics contend that current fi sheries regulations are suffi cient.

Last month, the Fish and Game Commission held three “open house” events, two in Eureka; one in Crescent City. These consisted largely of informational displays. According to the an­nouncement, “Staff will be available at each station so that attendees may ask questions and provide feedback on the process for the North Coast.” Random comments to staff? That’s a funny way to gauge public opinion.

The next step is formation of an MLPA Mas­ter Plan Science Advisory Team. August 14 is the deadline for nominations. From these panelists will be chosen--experts in “marine econology, marine fiasheries, marine habitats, marine protected area, economics, social sciences.” Address nominations (by letter, no more than two pages) to Jason Vasques, associate marine biologist, Attn: MLPA Science Advisory Team Nominations, 350 Harbor Blvd., Belmont, CA 94002. Or by e-mail: jvasques@dfg.ca.gov Final recommendations will go to the Fish and Game Commission in late 2010.

1 comment:

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