Calif. Fish and Game Commission hears protected-area proposals

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – On Wednesday, California’s Fish and Game Commission heard recommendations from a task force regarding the establishment of new marine protected areas along California’s South Coast in accordance with the state’s Marine Life Protection Act, according to a release from the group Partnership for Sustainable Oceans.

The commission is responsible for determining which one of four proposals submitted by the task force will be selected for the South Coast.

“The Commission takes the MLPA process very seriously,” Commission Vice President Richard Rogers said in the release. “We have a multitude of things to consider and we will not rush this process. We’re committed to being fully informed on all the issues which includes ample opportunity for the public to comment. I think it is safe to say that this deliberation process will extend well into the latter part of 2010.”

The Partnership for Sustainable Oceans supports Proposal 2, which it says provides significant additional conservation for California’s ocean resources while minimizing the economic impact of lost fishing opportunity.

“At the end of this process, we hope that common sense, balanced with a concern for the potential economic impact on California’s fragile economy and double-digit unemployment rate, will prevail,” said Patty Doerr, Ocean Resource Policy director for the American Sportfishing Association and a PSO member.

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