Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Anglers Protest at Global Climate Summit

Airing Concerns - Anglers concerned about potential MLPA closures of prime fishing areas protested outside the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel during Gov. Schwarzenegger’s Global Climate Summit, Sept. 30. (Photo by Bobby Gowin)

By Ambrosia Sarabia, The Log
October 13, 2009

Anglers and advocates for retaining open fishing areas rallied outside of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Global Climate Summit in protest of proposed Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) fishing closures, Sept. 30.

Armed with signs and megaphones, more than 24 protesters positioned themselves outside of Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel asking the governor to stop targeting anglers and sportfishing and, instead, address the problem of ocean pollution.

“Ironically, Gov. Schwarzenegger is trying to build his legacy as a green governor while he simultaneously ignores all the ocean pollution plaguing California’s beaches and coastal waters,” the coalition stated.

Wendy Tochihara, the national sales manager for Izorline International, helped organize the event, which was attended by anglers, representatives from the industry and others opposed to the proposed closures.

“We definitely made an impact by reaching out to people in the fishing community,” Tochihara said.

The rally was led by the California Fisheries Coalition in an effort to “show the world how green the governor really is” and “shame him into doing something about ocean pollution instead of punishing fisherman in pursuit of his environmental legacy,” as stated by the coalition.

The Global Climate Summit 2 was attended by more than 1,200 representatives from various states, provinces and countries, with a focus on climate solutions.

Sportfishing enthusiasts have been coming together for the past few months to rally against the proposed closure of prime fishing spots in Southern California. In September, fishing advocates formed convoys in San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange County prior to Sept. 9 and 10 MLPA meetings held in Los Angeles.

Many sportfishing enthusiasts support Proposal 2, which has the fewest closures when compared to Proposals 1 and 3. Three groups have been created to oversee specific elements of the act: the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Science Advisory Team and the South Coast Regional Stakeholder Group.

The Blue Ribbon Task Force will make its final determination on the preferred blueprint at a meeting Oct. 20-22. The California Fish and Game Commission will vote on the closures on Dec. 10.

Proposals 1, 2 and 3 -- submitted by the three South Coast Regional Stakeholder groups -- can be viewed at

The public can comment on the proposals at the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force meeting on Oct. 21 at Hilton Long Beach & Executive Meeting Center, 701 West Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. Comments can also be sent to or mailed to Marine Life Protection Act Initiative, c/o California Natural Resources Agency, 1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1311, Sacramento, CA 95814; or via fax at (916) 653-8102.

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