Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Local fishermen named to MLPA group

Ukiah Daily Journal
February 16, 2010

Jim Bassler, a Mendocino County commercial fisherman, has been added to the Marine Life Protection Act North Coast Regional Stakeholder Group. The stakeholder group is responsible for developing recommendations for alternative marine protected areas to help the State of California implement the Marine Life Protection Act.

There was a local push to get someone from this county in a position on the stakeholder list and calls and letters went to the director of Fish and Game, John McCamman, and the chairwoman of the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force, Cindy Gustafson, to request more representation of commercial fishing interests in the Mendocino County area.

Members of the stakeholder group are intended to help ensure that multiple perspectives are heard as the state prepares to close off new ocean areas for protection.

"Bassler has the experience and ability to reach out and include not only commercial fishing interests but also the interests of all communities along the Mendocino coastline," Gustafson said.

Bassler is a small-boat fisherman who fishes primarily for nearshore rockfish, crab and salmon along the Mendocino coast; he a member of the Salmon Trollers Marketing Association in Fort Bragg.

Bassler's addition brings the stakeholder group to a total of 32 residents of Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino counties within the MLPA North Coast Study Region, which encompasses state waters from the California-Oregon border to Alder Creek near Point Arena in Mendocino County.

The stakeholder group will work with a blue ribbon task force, science advisory team, and MLPA staff to help California improve the design and management of the north coast portion of a statewide network of marine protected areas.

Meetings have begun, the first of which were held in Eureka at the beginning of February.

Fore more information about the MLPA Initiative, please visit

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