Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Marine Protected Areas coming soon to the North Coast?

I happen chanced on a Humboldt Fisherman’s Marketing Association meeting to hear their views on the “Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA).” Fishermen at the meeting were handing out shirts that said “Much Less Public Access” with a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger holding a fisherman upside down on the back. The Act will create Marine Protected Areas (MPA) on coastal areas that will be designated after “scientific” studies “to increase the coherence and effectiveness in protecting the state's marine life and habitats, marine ecosystems, and marine natural heritage.”

In a nutshell, MPA’s will be created in places that could curtail fishing or kelp harvesting in certain coastline areas. The big contention by the locals is the lack of true scientific data to determine where this might happen. Fishermen are being solicited to “cut their own noses off in spite of their faces” by helping in the process of designated potential places they will not be able to fish. One commercial fisherman said he had provided fishing data to be added to a database and when he checked it out later, they had no history of fish being caught in the area he had been working for 20 years! Local fishermen are also worried they will be out lobbied by Southern California populace interests in trying to protect their own fish baskets. Fishermen could take a 20% hit according to "Ecotrust" an organization collecting data.

One hope for the local Fishermen would be if the Initiative staff would push forward a “single plan” or a “unified” directive with all stakeholders involved, Fishermen, Environmentalists, Department of Fish and Games, California Department of Parks and Recreation, Fisheries, Native Americans and all other related interests.


jmc said...

I think that it about time for the state to reduce its staff and control things that are already in place.

Rambo said...

How can I get some of those shirts??

Anonymous said...

This the kind of crap that groups like the HCDCC have forced on communities all over America. STUPID!

Anonymous said...

Wow.....I have never been out and about, enjoying the day, and somehow found myself in a fishermans association meeting. I guess if some fisherman was wearing some anti-Schwarznegger shirt he must be very credible. No matter how much Schwarznegger has done to try and be like a Democrat he is a villain to all of them. I bet Stalin could waltz down Third St. with an "impeach Bush" t-shirt on and he would have the support of the HDCCC hands down.