Posts Tagged fish and game commission

Dec 18 2010

State panel approves creation of protected marine area off Southern California coast

December 15, 2010

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — State wildlife regulators voted Wednesday to create a zone of protected areas off the Southern California coast where fishing and other activities will be restricted or banned.

The Fish and Game Commission listened to hours of public comment before approving the marine protected area along a 250-mile arc of coastline from the Mexican border to Santa Barbara County.

To comply with the state’s Marine Life Protection Act of 1999, California’s 1,100-mile coast was divided into five sections. Two protected areas were previously created in Northern and Central California. Southern California is the third area to undergo the process.

The establishment of such areas has been a particularly thorny issue in Southern California, where conservationists, fishermen and seaside business interests have collided.

The commission voted 3-2 in favor of the protected area. Supporters clapped when the vote was cast. Many had urged the panel to increase the size of the protected locations within the reserve.

The process appeared to have done little to quell opposition, even though the proposal has been in the works for two years and was aired at dozens of public hearings.

Fishing industry experts expressed concern about the survival of their industry. California Fisheries Coalition manager Vern Goehring and others predicted lawsuits.

“The public image or message that proponents are giving is this is a great thing protecting the ocean,” Goehring said. “But in reality, most people know if you regulate fishing — which is already regulated — it doesn’t do anything new about water quality, coastal development and other threats.”

Read the rest of the story here.

Dec 17 2010

State doubles size of region’s marine reserves

By Mike Lee

December 15, 2010

Underwater state parks will nearly double in size across Southern California under a lightning-rod plan
approved Wednesday by California’s Fish and Game Commission to boost ocean health.

The strategy is less aggressive than what many conservationists wanted, but they praised it as a
good start toward recovering numerous species, from lobster to sheephead. The biggest impacts will be
felt by fishermen who said they will be squeezed into less-fertile waters, creating economic losses
and crowding.

Read the rest of the story here.

Dec 17 2010

Commission approves series of marine protected areas off California coast

By Joshua Molina Correspondent

December 15, 2010

Wearing droopy gray sweatpants and with a chewed up toothpick dangling from his mouth, 63-year-old Ace Carter sat on a folding chair in front of the Hotel Mar Monte proudly waving a protest sign — “Stop the enviro Nazis!”

A third-generation fisherman and licensed private detective, Carter arrived in front of the Santa Barbara hotel at 7 a.m. Wednesday to protest the California Fish and Game Commission’s vote on marine protected areas.

“There are plenty of fish,” Carter said. “This whole thing is a sham. It’s a done deal.”

About eight hours later, Carter’s fears came true.

In a historic vote, the Fish and Game Commission voted 3-2 to approve a series of marine protected areas — essentially underwater parks designed to protect fish and block out fishermen.

The ocean, advocates say, has become polluted and the sheer numbers of fish have diminished because of overfishing. Critics of the plan say that the health of the ocean is fine and that creating protected areas only harms people who make a living off the sea.

The commission’s approval of the Integrated Preferred Alternative paves the way for the creation of more than four dozen marine protected areas over more than 300 miles, from Point Conception to Mexico along the Southern California coastline.

Read more here.