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Posted by Ken Kurtis on November 13, 2009 at 10:11:42:

In Reply to: Is Farnswoth going to be an MPA? posted by Chris on November 12, 2009 at 22:53:21:

Chris wrote: "Wasn't Farnsworth going to be part of an MPA?"

Yes. And it is. But MPA doesn't mean "No-Take". Let me see if I can clear up the terminolgy a bit.

"MPA" simply means "Marine Protected Area" but doesn't speecify/define the level of protection, It simply means that there are regulations beyond DF&G take limits. It might just protect a single species or could be no-take or anything in-beteen.

In the broad term "MPA" you then get a series of protection classifications:

Marine Resrve - no take.

State Marine Park - allows recreational fishing and prohibits commercial extraction.

State Marine Conservationa Area (SMCA) - allows for specified commercial and recreational activities, including fishing for certain species but not others, fishing with certain practices but not others, and kelp harvesting.

Farnsworth is currently designated as an SMCA and will stay that way assuming the Preferred Alternative is accepted by F&G. (There was a proposal to make Farnsworth a Marine Reserve but it never got any traction and was shot down.)

And don't lose sight of the fact that Farnsworth isn't "ours". It's not exclusively a dive site. The fishing lobby is very strong and well-organized. There doesn't seem to be any sentiment from the BRTF to make Farnsworth a no-take area.

Also don't forgot that "Farnsworth" is defined as a large area. Currently (http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/jpegs/farnsworth.jpg) it's maybe four square mailes. The new SCMA extends eastward to the Catalina coast (I can't find the revised map) so it's probably 9-10 square miles or more. It's much larger than presently, contains more fishing area and in some ways makes our job of protecting it for divers more complicated, since the fishermen will now feel they have a bigger stake in this.

No one ever said it would be easy . . .

- Ken
Ken Kurtis
Owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, CA

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