Impending Suit Against CA DFG

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Posted by Chris on November 26, 2002 at 06:48:16:

Subject: PRESS RELEASE - Impending Suit Against CA DFG


Impending Suit Against CA DFG
Half Moon Bay, California

Northern California fishing organizations are banding together to fight
for our children's right to fish. They have joined forces in the belief
something is dramatically wrong when a child cannot catch a rockfish
from the beach in a supposed conservation effort, while our state
government allows rockfishing businesses to fish in those same waters.

Over the past several months, galvanized into action by regulatory
proposals that would severely restrict one of the most important
remaining recreational fisheries on the Central California Coast,
various recreational angling groups have joined forces to challenge
proposed limitations on recreational rockfishing. Coastside Fishing
Club President Bob Franko views the new regulations as unjustified
discrimination against the right to take a child fishing. "Our heritage
is being challenged, and these new proposed regulations do not
achieve the purpose that was intended," said Franko. "The days of
grandpa taking his grandkids fishing on a party boat or in a little
aluminum boat is vanishing before our eyes."

The Coastside Fishing Club in conjunction with the San Francisco law
firm Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, intends to file suit to challenge
the newest regulations in an effort to protect traditional recreational
angling rights. Lead by litigator Jim Miller, a 25 year veteran of
Brobeck, Coastside members have been preparing the case and have worked
on forming a coalition with leaders of the sportfishing
community whose members are impacted by the new regulations. Those
supporting the effort include: Bob Franko (President, Coastside
Fishing Club), Roger Thomas (President, Golden Gate Fisherman's
Association), Randy Fry (President, Northern California Recreational
Fisherman's Alliance), Bob Strickland (President, United Anglers
Northern California), Tom Raftican (President, United Anglers Southern
California) , and Bob Fletcher (President, Sportfishing Association of
California). The suit will focus on the unusual degree of deference
shown by the California Department of Fish & Game to the commercial
fishing interest dominated Pacific Fisheries Management Council,
and will challenge the data relied upon by the Commission in the latest
round of regulatory cutbacks.

"The fishing community has had enough," said Franko. "We are sorry to be
forced to go to court to get recreational angling back where it
belongs at the top of the Fish & Game Commission Agenda, but this has
been forced upon us. The state has shown flagrant disregard for
the rights of recreational anglers and they have done this
without regard to the fact that no rod and reel fishery has ever
threatened an ocean species. The scientific data that Fish & Game have
quoted to justify this miscarriage has been shown to be inaccurate and
unsubstantiated. Any parent has always been able to take a child
fishing throughout the entire history of this state, and it has never
hurt the fish population."

Robert Franko
President, Coastside Fishing Club
P O Box 1422
El Granada, CA 94018-1422
(650) 726-1666

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