CalOceans News

Showing all articles with tag: BRTF.


Shoulder to shoulder on the North Coast

January 25th, 2011

While the approval of a network of marine protected areas for southern California has hogged all the recent press on the Marine Life Protection Act, the North Coast process has been moving along right on schedule.

In fact, we’re only a week away from the Fish and Game Commission
at which the North Coast's landmark unified proposal will be presented.

So it’s good to read articles like this one that show the strength in solidarity of the North Coast community. Fishers, environmentalists, tribes, recreational users, and local businesses stood up at a hearing last week in Eureka to reiterate their support for the Unified Proposal.

Under the plan, 13 percent of state waters will be protected through the creation of 17 marine protected areas. The plan, developed by the North Coast Regional Stakeholder Group, earned unanimous support from the Blue Ribbon Task Force in October.

While the Regional Stakeholder Group--which includes representatives from the conservation, business, tribal, and fishing communities--started out working at cross purposes, they found common ground in their desire to balance the region's economic and environmental health, protect tribal harvest, and embrace the opportunity for self-determination. 

We hope they can maintain this unity, and continue to focus on the public benefits of smart and science-based ocean protection throughout the Commission process!


State officials back north coast ocean plan

October 27th, 2010

Yesterday, the Marine Life Protection Act Blue Ribbon Task Force voted unanimously to recommend the marine protected area plan developed by local stakeholders for state waters between Point Arena to the border with Oregon.

The north coast was the first region to submit a unified plan supported by both fishermen and conservationists, and the residents of Humboldt, Mendocino and Del Norte Counties are urging state decision makers to respect their shared vision for sustainable ocean management. 

After nearly a year of study and negotiations, the divers, fishermen, seaweed harvesters, tribal and business leaders, and conservationists tasked with designing marine protected areas for the north coast came together to develop a unified plan that balances economic and environmental concerns. The group agreed on the need to protect tribal harvest and fishing access.

The stakeholder plan was developed with public input gathered during
300 hours of meetings, in addition to 20 public workshops. It would
protect about 13 percent of state waters, including treasured areas
like Reading Rock, South Cape Mendocino and Ten-Mile Beach. The plan
would maintain fishing access at all North Coast harbors and allow
ongoing traditional, non-commercial tribal harvest.

During their two day hearing, the Blue Ribbon Task Force heard from the stakeholders, as well as science advisors and members of the public before passing a motion supporting the unified plan. Final authority rests with the Fish and Game Commission, who will make a final decision in 2011.


Spotlight on the south coast

December 22nd, 2009

The planning meetings have come and gone. The Blue Ribbon Task Force, Regional Stakeholder Group, Science Advisory Teamand general public have all had their say. Now the future of southern California’s coastal waters sits with the Fish and Game Commission, which met December 9, to gather input from the community and MLPA advisors before sending off four marine protected area plans for further economic and scientific analysis.  

South coast residents can still weigh in via mail or email, and will have additional opportunities to comment in person when the Commission returns to southern California for three more meetings in 2010.  

Although the Commission has adopted the BRTF’s Integrated Preferred Alternative as the “proposed project,” all four of the current proposals for marine protected areas on the south coast remain on the table.

So what does that mean? It means now is the time to remind the Fish and Game Commission that science should guide our state’s resource management decisions.  And the conservation plan—also known as Proposal 3—is the only one that meets science guidelines and protects all southern California’s iconic ocean places, like Naples Reef, Point Dume, Palos Verdes, Laguna, Catalina Island and La Jolla. At the December 9 meeting, Dr. Steve Murray of the Science Advisory Team confirmed that Proposal 3 would produce the greatest ecosystem benefits.
Please send an email or note to the Commissioners voicing your support for Proposal 3.

Marine Life Protection Act Initiative
c/o California Natural Resources Agency
1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1311
Sacramento, CA 95814

Tell them to adopt a plan that will serve the region’s economy and environment. We only get one shot at this and we need to get it right!


Protecting fish AND fishing access

December 3rd, 2009

The compromise marine protected area plan for southern California recommended by the Blue Ribbon Task Force was designed to balance fishing access with conservation.  It includes protection for key feeding and breeding grounds like Naples Reef, Point Dume, Laguna, and south La Jolla, while leaving nearly 90% of south coast waters open for fishing.

The compromise plan (also known as the Integrated Preferred Alternative, or IPA) will not effect pier anglers at all, and will allow ongoing commercial and recreational fishing in popular spots like:

- Ellwood and Carpinteria Reefs in Santa Barbara County
- The entire coast of central and southern Ventura County
- Kelp beds in northern Los Angeles County
- Central Malibu and the Santa Monica Bay, including the eastern half of Big Kelp Reef
- The waters north of the Palos Verdes peninsula (including Rocky Point)
- All of Orange County, except Laguna
- North San Diego County, including the Oceanside Pier and Solana Beach kelp beds
- Northern La Jolla and Point Loma
- Most of Catalina Island

Click here to download a complete list (and map) of fishing areas left open under the BRTF's compromise plan.


BRTF recommends compromise plan for south coast

November 10th, 2009

 The Marine Life Protection Act Blue Ribbon Task Force today voted unanimously to recommend a compromise marine protected area plan for southern California’s coastal ocean. 

Their plan a step in the right direction, and includes critical protections for iconic places like south La Jolla, Point Dume, and Naples Reef while leaving nearly 90% of the coast open for fishing.   However, it falls short of scientists' recommendations at Rocky Point and Catalina Island. 

The Task Force will present their recommendation to the California Fish & Game Commission on December 9, and the Commission is expected to make a final decision early next year.  

The Marine Life Protection Act Science Advisory Team met yesterday to assess proposals for Santa Monica Bay, San Diego, and Orange County. They emphasized the important of protecting high quality habitats where fish and invertebrates feed and breed. 

By setting aside ecological hot spots--those super productive canyons, reefs, and kelp forests that act as fish nurseries--we can improve the overall health and sustainability of southern California's ocean and fisheries.


Aquapolypse Now? Dr. Daniel Pauly on “the end of fish”

November 2nd, 2009

Dr. Daniel Pauly  warns that we are at the last frontier of fishing. According to his recent article in the New Republic, in the past 50 years  "we have reduced the populations of large commercial fish, such as bluefin tuna, cod, and other favorites, by a staggering 90 percent."

Dr. Pauly appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air today to talk more about the dangers of overfishing.  In the past, fishing fleets have moved to deeper waters once they deplete a certain area, but they’re running out of ocean.  Right now, 80% of the fish we consume in the U.S. is imported, and California’s fisheries are feeling the pinch: revenues are down 50% statewide since 1990.

To reverse the damage, we have to get smart about ocean protection, and it starts with establishing science-based marine protected areas. The Marine Life Protection Act is California’s chance to rebuild fish populations and restore marine ecosystems. And we have to get it right to avert the aquapolypse Dr. Pauly warns about. 

Join Audubon and other conservation groups in supporting a strong marine protected area plan for southern California.