California Fish and Game Commission passes North Central MPA regulations

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Fish and Game Commission voted yesterday to impose regulations that place 20 percent of the North Central Coast’s prime fishing and boating coastal areas in marine protected areas, the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans reported in a recent statement.

By a 3-2 vote, the commission approved the Integrated Preferred Alternative (IPA) proposal, a more restrictive plan than Proposal 2XA, which was supported by the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans (PSO).

The 2XA proposal, developed and supported by the PSO, would have achieved the conservation objectives established by the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Blue Ribbon Task Force with the least economic impact on the North Central Coast’s coastal communities, PSO stated. However, when the North Central Coast Blue Ribbon Task Force crafted the IPA they did so with 2XA as its backbone.

“Although we are disappointed that Proposal 2XA was not selected, we want everyone to know that a majority of the elements contained in 2XA were included in the proposal selected by the Fish and Game Commission. The 2XA proposal balanced the integrated preferred alternative proposal with fewer closures than other options under consideration,” said Dan Wolford, science director for the Coastside Fishing Club. “In the end, it’s unfortunate that we are not able to provide relief for the abalone community in the Northern part of the study area that was included in 2XA.”

“The PSO calls on the Commission and the California state legislature to examine concrete solutions to address the fact that the State of California does not have the money to scientifically monitor and enforce these new areas,” said Patty Doerr, Ocean Resource Policy director for the American Sportfishing Association, a PSO member. “Without adequate resources, the true effectiveness of these areas will never be realized and the adaptive management required under the law will be impossible to achieve.”

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