Posted by: socalsalty | December 16, 2010

California FGC Approves MPA Plan

I'm all for more and bigger fish

Yesterday there was a public hearing in Santa Barbara where interested parties had the opportunity to speak before the California Fish and Game Commission (CA FGC). The FGC then considered various proposals and approved a plan for creating Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) off the coast of California as required by the Marine Life Protection Act (MPLA). Essentially, what’s been approved is a series of MPA’s in key marine areas where marine life will be protected from being harvested. The idea behind the initiative is to create wildlife preserves in the ocean, similar to the National Park system on land. I’ve only just started to research the topic, but there seems to be solid science behind the initiative. Results in areas like the Great Barrier Reef have shown to raise fish populations in protected areas which result in more and bigger fish in non-protected areas.

At face value, it seems like a good compromise was reached between the interests of conservationists, sportfishermen, and commercial fishing operations. I’ll try to talk to some of the captains and crews on the sportboats to get their opinions and post them here on the blog later.

UPDATE – Map of open fishing areas under the new plan

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Responses

  1. Obviously in my former position, I’ve had direct knowledge for the need of Marine Stewardship. Unfortunately, I’ve found that “hard” science is often politicized, and politically powerful “green” business often create fictions that do not solve the problem. Case in point is “Chilean Seabass”, which, if fresh, is overwhelmingly poached. The solution is “MSC Certified” which claims to harvest this fish responsibly. The problem is that other than increasing the price 400% to 500%, Chilean Seabass is still overfished! Looking forward to more on this topic.

    • Those aren’t farmed Hink? Thanks for weighing in. Good to get perspective from someone who relies on the commercial fishing industry.


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