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Posted by RECREATIONAL FISHING ALLIANCE on May 08, 2009 at 10:30:58:


This may be your LAST opportunity to tell the Fish & Game Commission to support sustainable fisheries & oppose MLPA extremism!


May 14, 2009 (Thursday) 8:30 a.m.
Resources Building Auditorium
1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento

Public Discussion of the north-coast MLPA regulations.

RFA will be supporting 2XA but only on the condition that the Master Plan for MPAs is fully funded, and only after the legislative oversight has occured. We support tabling the proposed regulations altogether until they can be considered as a statewide network. The network should fit the funding available.

For background, watch RFA and SCAN tell the F&G Commission how the
MLPA regulations threaten the northern California recreational
abalone fishery:


It is critical that we get 2 XA passed - at the very least on the northern end of the region around Point Arena.

Save Public Access at Stornetta Public Lands! Save Fisk Mill and Horseshoe Coves! Save the abalone fishery!

Divers have made a great showing so far. This is not time to let up. Our arguments are based on facts and DFG's own data drawn from the abalone punch cards. Two Commissioners are on our side, two are mounting in the legislature over the available funding and the scope of the project. If there was ever a time to stand up for the abalone fishery, now is IT!

Game Plan:

Arrive at the Resources Building (main auditorium on the first floor) for pre-planning no later than 9am. The MLPA meeting will go on all day and there will be opportunities to show up late and still get your voice heard.

Fill out a speaker card with your name and affiliations (RFA, Dive Clubs, SCAN, etc) and ask for time on AGENDA ITEMS #17 AND #18 - "Support 2 XA".

If you do not wish to speak, assign your time to either Milo Vukovich or Jim Martin and hand your cards to us. We will submit them as a group. You will recognize us if you watch the video link above.

If you wish to speak, here are a few key points we have been hammering:

  • The proposed regulations (IPA) will cause a collapse of the abalone fishery due to overuse of a few remaining access sites, including Fort Ross and Arena Cove. We support Alternative "2 XA" to avoid these negative consequences for the MLPA.
  • Effort shift means abalone diving and landings will be displaced from closed areas to the remaining open access sites. Abalone punch card data is the gold standard for recreational fisheries, and a model for the new lobster cards.
  • We urge the Fish and Game Commission to take its statutory responsibility seriously, and consider the funding available for management, enforcement, outreach and monitoring of MPA sites before passing any regulations.
  • Divers and anglers will have to live with these regulations for a long time, and will be outraged if the Commission does not take the time it needs to make an informed decision.
  • DFG estimated a $40 million annual price tag for full implementation of the MLPA. Can the state afford such a huge investment in an experiment in social engineering, at the expense of productive sectors of the state's economy? This amount is equal to 8 out of every 10 dollars of our fishing license fees.
  • The abalone fishery will likely need to close down completely in five years because of the domino effect of closures and effort shift, causing more area closures.
  • Remove conservation areas that do little to protect the habitat, or the water, and strengthen the backbone of reserves and stakeholder support.
  • Reduce the size of the entire network for ease of enforcement, management and monitoring. Do a cost-benefit analysis fishery by fishery to better understand how expensive the IPA will be, compared to other alternatives.
  • The proposed IPA is inconsistent with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) because it damages the abalone fishery for no conservation benefit.
  • The regulations threaten the viability of Point Arena as a working harbor.
  • 2 XA is locally-supported by the Cities of Point Arena and Fort Bragg, as well as the County of Mendocino and the community of Sea Ranch.
Finally, don't be afraid to make a personal appeal based on what
abalone diving means to you and your family.

If you can make it please send me an email so we know who we can
count on.

If you can't make it, written comment can be sent to:
Cindy Gustafson, President
California Fish & Game Commission
1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA 95814-2090

email: fgc@fgc.ca.gov

Thanks & I hope we see you there!

Jim Martin
West Coast Regional Director
Recreational Fishing Alliance
(707) 357-3422 (c)
(707) 964-8326 (o)
P.O. Box 2420
Fort Bragg, CA 95437

EMAIL: flatland@mcn.org

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