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State OKs ocean fishing bans for Southern California


State wildlife officials Wednesday narrowly approved a network of marine reserves along the Southern California coast.

The 3-2 vote in Santa Barbara by the California Fish and Game Commission bans or restricts fishing in dozens of protected marine areas designed to replenish depleted fish populations and protect marine life.

The regulations come more than a decade after state legislators passed the California Marine Life Protection Act, which was adopted in 1999 to establish a statewide, science-based system of sanctuaries within three miles of the shoreline.

The plan adopted Wednesday spans waters from Point Conception to the Mexican border and was the result of two years of contentious negotiations between recreational anglers and commercial fishing groups wary of losing territory and conservation groups pushing for strict curbs on fishing to preserve marine habitat.

California has led the nation in establishing marine reserves, an idea conceived in response to steep declines in recent decades in populations of rockfish, cod, lobster, abalone and other ocean dwellers despite catch limits and other fishing regulations.

Scientists who helped draft the plan argued that some species could disappear entirely without no-fishing zones in a diverse assortment of underwater canyons, kelp forests, sandy sea floor and rocky reefs.

Commissioner Richard B. Rogers voted for the plan, saying it struck an “elegant balance” between conservation and fishing interests.

“The overarching goal is to return California to the sustainable abundance I observed growing up,” the long-time scuba diver said.

--Tony Barboza in Santa Barbara

Photo: Fishing boat off Southern California coast. Credit: Los Angeles Times.

Comments () | Archives (11)

The MPLA closures do not address the real issues impacting fish stocks. The only objective of the closures is to punish fishermen. Voters should be very concerned about the costs of the closures and the loss of jobs and fresh seafood from local waters.

This is nothing more than a complete sham. The existing rules & limits are working just fine. There are no species in danger of overfishing. Who's going to pay for this? 40 MILLION a year to enforce the MPLA closures. What about all of the jobs that are going to be lost? Businesses that will close because people aren't going to be able to go fishing. What a joke, it will get shot down it court. This nothing more than PETA & the Humane Society ramming there agenda down our throats.

Reality has finally broken through ... we cannot continue to fish at the rates we have and not give the sea population an opportunity to breed and replenish the oceans. This mentality of "I want...what I want...when I want it" has got to stop ... we need to exercise some restraint! Glad this bill passed!!!


So where are the new restrictions?

I suggest that we get rid of all of these tree hugging commissions. This state is doomed

How about a map of the banned areas? And if it passed narrowly (over the screaming of local sportsfishermen) why don't we hear from both sides, not just someone who thinks it's genius?

While this is better than no protection at all, it is still far from the minimum set-asides that scientists suggest. Why is it we continually refuse to think of future generations and retain such a narrow baseline when evaluating current conditions? Short-term thinking dominates most aspects of our culture and political system.

Looking back just a lifetime ago, and using that as a baseline, there has been tremendous reductions in most fish stocks since the end of World War II when California's population really started to explode. If the much lower human population levels of just six decades ago brought about changes evident as early as the 1950s, what makes people think that an ever increasing human presence in SoCal will maintain even the status quo?

I cry for my child and grandchild's future.

Good for sustainability. This is what we Catholics call Good Works.

Such incredible ignorance displayed in some of these comments. As one commissioner stated "Reserves work." The fishers need to look at the results obtained in many different areas of the world... the fishers there have seen the benefits and are pushing for the creation of more reserves that will benefit their harvest.

If we are serious about preserving marine life we need to take actions against large scale threats such as polution and contamination from runoff, boat exhaust, and commercial fishing restrictions. I take my young son kayak fishing and also freedive spearfish. I catch about 10 fish during the summer months and my family and I enjoy them for diner.
Now I'm baned...


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