The Marine Life Protection Act has produced two schools of thought when it comes to combating the environmentalists' efforts to close areas like Rocky Point.
One point of view is to compromise and give some concessions, recognizing that there are some good people on the environmental side.
The other school of thought seeks to demonize the environmental movement as an evil entity and fight to the death. No giving in on any issue. These fishermen believe that it is their right as a U.S. citizen to have access to the ocean and refuse to give in on anything.
Further, they point out that the main culprit in depleting marine life is pollution and urban runoff among myriad other factors.
The environmental movement is better funded and better organized than the fishermen. In addition, many on that side of the coin seek to demonize anglers as people whose only interest is to destroy the precious marine life along our coast.
Still, there are some on the environmental side who are deeply concerned about caring for this precious gift we call the Pacific Ocean.
Tom Raftican, the former president of the United Anglers of Southern California said politics is the art of compromise.
Bob Osborn of United Anglers developed a plan he thought would satisfy anglers and environmentalists alike. The plan involved slot limits, releasing fish when they are a certain size, more catch and release, closing some areas for periods of time, but allowing recreational fishing in general.
Raftican, for his part, introduced the CAST Tournament, which was all catch and release. He tried to put cameras on the sportboats and send anglers home with a photo instead of a dead fish and make conservation a part of every angler's ethos.
According to Raftican, he left United Anglers of Southern California because he thought his view would tear his board of directors apart.
Many on the board had the attitude that this was a take-no-prisoners mission. This seems to be the prevailing view and strategy of most anglers now, and only time will tell how this plays out.
There are many who fear that the strategy of no compromise gives the opposition no where to go. The only option when there is no give and take would be a complete shut down of Rocky Point as well as other areas.