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MLPA Initiative a Schwarzenegger priority, budget woes notwithstanding

Reed Smolan unhooks a calico bass caught off the Palos Verdes Peninsula. A portion of ocean beyond the peninsula faces possible closure as part of the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative. For those wondering whether California will follow through with the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative in light of the state's massive budget deficit and the drastic cuts being made elsewhere, the answer appears to be a resounding yes.

Natural Resources Secretary Michael Chrisman on Monday delivered a memo to the California Fish and Game Commission in response to two commission members who recently suggested a delay in further implementation of the MLPA process. The MLPA Initiative staff and stakeholder groups are working toward establishing a coastwide network of marine protected areas -- which would be off-limits to fishermen -- and is currently focusing on Southern California.

Chrisman explained to the commission, on behalf of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, that "California's process for adopting an improved system of marine protected areas is well funded. Moreover, there is no reason, funding or otherwise, for the process supporting the law to be postponed."

Chrisman further explained that the state budget has "consistently provided support for MLPA" and that "this funding is but a small part of the more than $34.2 million that has been allocated statewide for MLPA by a partnership of state agencies and foundations."

This news will be disappointing to many fishermen but should be reassuring to environmental groups that favor a network of no-take areas to benefit beleaguered stocks of fish, and that have devoted thousands of hours, as stakeholders, to the painstaking process.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Reed Smolan unhooks a calico bass caught off the Palos Verdes Peninsula. A portion of ocean beyond the peninsula faces possible closure as part of the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative. Credit: Pete Thomas / Los Angeles Times

 
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Comments (21)

So many people are miss-informed about the ocean. Here is a recent article on how well California's oceans are doing. We as fishermen, want to Conserve not Close our oceans. We respect and want to protect our ocean.


Landmark Study Counters Pseudo Science Behind MLPA Process
by Dan Bacher
Saturday Aug 1st, 2009 4:03 PM
A new landmark study published in the July 31 issue of Science magazine reveals that the California Current ecosystem has the lowest fishery exploitation rate of any place in the world examined by co-authors Ray Hilborn and Boris Worm and 19 other scientists.
Landmark Study Counters Pseudo Science Behind MLPA Process
California has the lowest exploitation rate of fished stocks in the world

By Dan Bacher

Check it out.


If the MLPA process continues to be hijacked by these special interests as it is now, rec fisherman will only have one weapon left in our bag. Social Disobediance...lets call it MPA days. Thats where 50 to 100 boats meet up at the Laguna Beach MPA (or the Malibu MPA), tie off together and fish anyway 3 to 4 times a month! Bottom line is, you cant reach a solution to improve ocean conditions by one side cramming thier views on another.

For all you hippies that think our oceans can improve without getting the recreational guys on board, think again! Who do you think led the charge to ban the outragous practices of the commercial guys in the late 70's early 80's. Recreational fisherman are the protecters of the ocean. The department of homeland security didnt go to biologists after 911 to help secure our coastline for a reason. Recreational fisherman above anything else love the ocean. Any solution must involve them. It is as simple as setting up tag and release programs in these MPA's for the rec fisherman. This servers two purposes, it doesn't completely ban them from their favorite pastime and the thing that draws them to the ocean. It allows them to participate in a solution and witness weather the MPAs work or not first hand. Secondly, it will give us a mountain of data that we need to go about making real decisions about our oceans...data we dont currently have!

The MLPA process has been full of unethical conflicts of interest, bias and corruption on the part of the supposedly neutral administrators driving the process. The public doesn't realize what a huge taking of public lands and recreational opportunities away from the people of California. Every politician supporting the MLPA should be removed from office. The enviros and eco-terrorists imposing their political will on the people of California need to held accountable!

So much for objective journalism. Yet another high five feel good piece about the MLPA that avoids the issues. Environmental groups are funding much of the costs to get this off the ground. This is a private/public venture that now owes a special thanks to special interest other then the general public. Let not forget with this was voted into law in 1999 the annual cost was estimated at $250,000 now it has ballooned to $35,000,000. The public no longer has say in that? Good luck paying that with the reduced taxes from the billons of dollars not spent from sport fishing.

The 35 - 40 million figure for education, outreach, monitoring and enforcement came from DFG itself. The original funding was for 250,000. I keep hearing overfishing as a reason. The Pacific Fishery Management Council records clearly dispute that overfishing is occurring. The Central Coast MPA is a prime example, the monitoring isn't being done. The private/state funding sets up the implementation program but once it is completed the private funding will stop. The environmental group(s) that are contributing to the private side are the reason that the cost per year for funding have ballooned to such a huge amount.
The California DFG enforcement is the lowest of all the states now. 192 wardens for the complete state. The fishing community supported higher warden pay and hoped for better recruitment. There aren't enough wardens now to strictly enforce fish and game regs. The state is in a economic disaster,
The MLPA - MPA's use theory instead of strict science.

The protection of the seals is a big part of the problem..Theyv'e infested are coastline. What do you think they eat. If the BRTF is serious about protecting the fish. they should deal with them first. Or the'll probaly come up with an expert that will claim that kayakers and single hook and line fisherman take more than the seals?. I feel there's a hidden agenda propelling them.

"healthy ocean is a sound investment for the state of California. Our ocean supports a very diverse, multi-billion dollar coastal economy - fishing is one small part of the puzzle! Non-consumptive tourism brings billions of dollars to our state every year.

I keep hearing this inflated "30 million dlls a year" price tag to monitor every year - but no actual data to back it up - where is that number coming from? Mere fearmongering if you ask me! Facts and an actual track record (like the Channel Islands) of implementation puts the cost closer to the 3 million mark. If you're going to keep on throwing ridiculous numbers around, at least have the rationale behind that.

The fact is our fish stocks are in rapid decline and if we don't ALL help correct this - we'll be beyond hope, very, very soon."

I am not going to waist my time trying to find proof for you. However, the DFG commision presented this guestimate to the MLPAI, This number was not pulled "out of the air". You need to do your homework.

This is a B.S. move we need to clean up the pollution and slow the take. Smaller bag limit on rockfish and other "declining species", which i haven't noticed.. And slow the commercial take, it's worked before. Either way if you close them it benefits me , I'm a ninja and it's my water I will still fish try to stop me!

Tiburon, have you spoke to the DFG about this $30M price tag? you know, the department who has to operate and enforce this? well....it's coming from them, give them a call before you rant and rave with false accusations and forget the "0" after the 3.

A healthy ocean is a sound investment for the state of California. Our ocean supports a very diverse, multi-billion dollar coastal economy - fishing is one small part of the puzzle! Non-consumptive tourism brings billions of dollars to our state every year.

I keep hearing this inflated "30 million dlls a year" price tag to monitor every year - but no actual data to back it up - where is that number coming from? Mere fearmongering if you ask me! Facts and an actual track record (like the Channel Islands) of implementation puts the cost closer to the 3 million mark. If you're going to keep on throwing ridiculous numbers around, at least have the rationale behind that.

The fact is our fish stocks are in rapid decline and if we don't ALL help correct this - we'll be beyond hope, very, very soon.


This absolutely proves that environmentalists run this state from top to bottom while running it into the ground. Many don't understand that's also the reason Los Angeles doesn't have a football team. Every attempt at building a new stadium, no matter what concessions are made by investor groups is blocked by environmentalists who have all of the California Liberals backing and money.
If the MLPA was really about helping protect Marine life and our oceans health they would be doing something about run-off. Are fishermen responsible for California beaches topping the list in bacteria levels every year?
Do they understand that the three main closures they want to make (La Jolla, Dana Point and Point Dume) are already the three healthiest Marine Habitats we have on the Southern Coast? If they want to help, help in the areas that need it.
By the way, what are the tackle manufacturers and state economy going to do without my $2000.00 a year fishing expenditures?
Everyone wants to help clean up our oceans but shame on you California for not doing your homework on this issue.

The way the state is handling this is unreal! We can't even vote on it without it being thrown right out. This writer whoever wrote this should come to the meeting tomorrow morning at the Sheritan Hotel in L.A. on Century Blvd. to see what's really going on. Public speaking is at 9:40am and look for all the black shirts. Those will be the fishermen who had enough of this crap and will stand up to fight this till the end. What has America come to? NO RIGHTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So much to say, so little space. For those not familiar with sportfishing in general, you might be inclined to think that our current laws are not adequate. But talk to any DFG officer and you will learn the truth - we have the lowest per capita enforcement of any state. Proper enforcement and improved science (management) is the key and is what all major states employ to maintain a healthy balance. I've been fishing all of my life and have been checked 3 times total. Let's enforce what we already have instead of closing everything. Adding huge enforcement areas without proper enforcement already - doesn't make much sense.

The three items that the MLPAs are supposed to address are coastal development, pollution & over-fishing. They have so far failed to even address the two biggest factors, instead going after the easier to attack industry of fishing. There is too much money in development, and who's going to stand against pollution? These two factors cause WAY more damage to our waters than sportfishing could ever do, yet they are ignored. When passed years ago, we were told that managing closures would cost 250k annually. This figure has ballooned to 40 million annually. Take note state employees - where do you think this money will come from? Do you think we can afford this while ignoring pollution and proper enforcement of existing laws?

Pro-closure folks will say that they are only closing 10-20% of the fishable water. This is like closing all of the known surf spots and claiming you can surf everywhere else. You are free to surf one mile out everywhere, and all breakwater areas and areas with no waves anyway. They will tell you that these closures will improve fishing which is a bold faced lie. Closure to all fishing (including catch & release/non-take angling) will CLOSE it. These fish do not cruise around everywhere, they typically stay in specific areas - the same areas they are trying to close. No fishing does not improve fishing, proper management & enforcement does. Management is different from closure, and enforcement ensures that the management guidelines are followed. Controlling pollution should be our primary focus, but it isn't even addressed.

The worst part is that special interest money has obviously tainted the well. People have lied about their occupation and where they are receiving income. Votes have been negated because they didn't follow these special interests. No one is willing to make a huge stand because it will be seen as "going against the environment". I'm all for preserving our environment, but let's do this the right way. This isn't about the environment, it's about common sense. Hopefully it will prevail, but I have my doubts.

Forget about the fishing for one moment what about the economic impact it's going to have in so cal,from the sportboat captains ,crew,landings tackle shops that rely on business of saltwater anglers and so on.The governor is going to put people out of work and out of business! I don't think he really knows what he is about to do because of the misinformation he's been given by the people in charge of the MLPA'S.He's either DUMB or he owes somebody a political favor.In my opinion we have a bigger problem with pollution in our oceans and most fisherman know more about the environment than some crazy liberal that never comes out of there lab.

I dont get it... Taking away my only freedom from the crazy week. My fishing is destroying the coastline? Really? What about---I don't know--pollution?

Don't believe the hype. Be environ friendly but not absurd...its not fair and regular folks are going rise up. Are we this stupid?

I just want to fish---relax at the beach--take a kayak out with the kids...Why take that away...and why take that away now!!!!!

welcome to marxism!!!!!!!!!!

I am a RSG member and remember NO MATTER WHAT,, if you speak at these meetings and you fish, dive, kayak privat boater, or whatever, you better ask for the ITEAM or the BRTF to look up from the emails they are reading and pay attention to what your saying.... These folks do not play fair,,, just watch all the videos and watch Meg caldwell....

35 million dollars a year to close the coastline, while taking away childrens health care and teachers.

Not to mention the economic disaster this would be for tourism, and the hotels and businesses that rely upon this...

The MLPA DOES NOT Focus on pollution, and the water companies and the farmers are allowed to dump fertilizer and raw sewage into the ocean...

This is Nuts, the ocean fish population is down because of pollution, contamination, and illegal commercial fishing tactics. Do you really think people with hooks and line who fish once a week are depleting our population?

It's well known that the MLPA study is being funded by the Environmentalist Foundations. What the author has failed to mention is that it is estimated to cost over $30 Million a year to operate any closure coming out of this process. ONLY the study is funded, not the year-after- year operational costs......that is for us Tax Payers to come up with....screwed again by the Enviros

Another load of enviro crap.

What this article doesn't tell you is there is ZERO budget set aside for the maintenance and enforcement of the MPA's.

The Enviro foundations have paid just enough into the MLPA to get these "maps" put into place with no regard to future funding.

The Enviro lobbyists and bag men have paid off every politician they needed to get these laws into place with zero regard for our state's future.

The average fisherman absolutely supports fisheries management based upon solid science. This whole process including their "studies" have all been tainted by the enviros foundations paying for all this.

As always, follow the money and you'll find the rat.

Glad to see the state recognizes the urgency of this issue. Every time I open the newspaper, I read another article about the downward spiral of ocean health: climate change, acidification, overfishing, habitat destruction....

We can't see the problems from land, so it's easy to ignore them. But finally California (and countries and states all over the world) are realizing that we have to manage our ocean resources just as carefully as we do our lands. Tens of thousands of jobs right here in Los Angeles depend on our coast and ocean. And I'm not just talking about fishermen. Hotels, restaurants, dive and surf shops, tour companies, and the list goes on. I know it's hard to find the money when times get tight, but a small investment now will pay off big time in the future. This isn't something we can afford to put off-- an ounce of prevention is worth pounds of cure!!


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