Skip to comments.California revives plan to create string of restricted fishing zones along coast
Posted on 08/31/2004 2:02:26 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
SAN FRANCISCO State wildlife officials announced plans recently to revive a program to create marine reserves along California's 1,100-mile coast. The program would set up restricted fishing zones expected to serve as models for protecting ocean habitat.
Plans for the state-mandated network were shelved eight months ago because of budget woes. State agencies have now secured $2 million from private donors and $500,000 in state funding.
"This governor is committed to protecting and restoring these oceans, particularly in California," state Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman said.
The program represents a new approach to marine conservation. Rather than protecting individual fish species, reserves seek to protect entire marine ecosystems and restore fish species depleted by overfishing, pollution, and other human activities.
The marine reserves would only cover state waters, which extend 3 miles from the coast. Some experts estimate 10 to 20 percent of the coast could be off-limits to fishing.
Many commercial and recreational fishers are opposed.
"We don't know that they're going to work. I think there needs to be more studies done," said Bob Strickland, president of the United Anglers of California. "I don't like the idea that they're getting money from outside sources who have an agenda."
Private donations were led by the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation in Sacramento.
California already has a number of protected marine areas, but many have conflicting boundaries and restrictions. The new initiative is an effort to develop a more systematic statewide approach to protecting coastal habitat, Chrisman said.
A task force will oversee planning and solicit views from fishers, environmentalists, recreation groups, and others. The task force, along with a scientific advisory board, will then draw up a new set of reserves.
A statewide plan is expected by 2011
The oceans and fishing are the classic "tragedy of the commons" and something does need to be done to keep market forces from encouraging individuals from "catching the last fish" - which our technology now makes possible.
But, since this is California and leftist groups are leftist groups chances are that the final law will be that restricts economic activity and does minimal good for commercial fish stocks with huge loopholes when applicable.
Alas, doing something is still necessary. At least we have California to make the mistakes for us (apologies to Freepers who live there).
ping to you
I forgot to mention: if something bad happens, ITS BUSH'S FAULT.
If they pass this bill it should include provisions to implement the reserves over a period of 5-10 years, starting with the areas considered the most damaged.
Funds should also be allocated to marine wildlife research geared toward helping the fisheries to adjust to the new restrictions without suffering economic distress, either through technologies research, or a better understanding of marine wildlife. I bet we've already done most of the research but it hasn't been brought together in a manner that would be useful. The funds allocation could be allocated for the first year to show the industry what has been done and what potential there is. After that, there will only be matching funds for research sponsored by the fisheries. So, if the fisheries don't want to spend money to research, they get no matching funds. No research gets done, and it is their fault.
Hmm... and if they whine, call them girlie men.
Rights, farms, environment ping.
Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this list.
I don't get offended if you want to be removed.
IMNHO they should start by just restricting commercial fishing. I really don't think recreational fishing is a threat. If that doesn't work they can look at recreational fishing restrictions later.
The other solution, and more conservative, market-oriented solution is to privatise the fish stocks in the oceans. Rather than create a quota system which the government will certainly screw up, the fishing rights to certain oceanic coordinates should be sold to various companies. The rights should be for a very long time and they should naturally have certain, necessary conservation-oriented qualifiers.
The companies will then have every incentive to maximize the amount of fish they can possibly catch in the long-term and preserve their waters.
There is a nice curve of fish reproduction with which maximum reproductive capacity is fairly easy to establish in the real world with modern technology.
Under this scenario, the companies would likely have limited production for the first 5-8 years and then see a dramatic increase in their catch until a period of levelling off. But the profits and the jobs would remain stable.
California had no problem selling exclusive rights to airwaves for cellphone providers. At one point, California even sold drilling rights for oil producers.
If California wants to see fish populations boom, then it simply needs to sell fishing leases. Private companies will do the rest.
5 Legislative Days Left Until The AWB Expires
What about recreational fishing?
The companies that own the rights to oceans would sell liscenses to fish on their propety. At first that might well stop a lot of people from fishing, because the prices they charge could be high. I really don't know the economics of it.
It might be that the companies decide to bag the commercial fishing altogether and send out their boats with recreational fishers from whom their profit margins are higher.
It would certianly make some people mad, and might require some minor adjustments to legislation, but it is probably the solution with the greatest benefit and least pain for people and the environment.
No thanks. Fish stocks belong to all the people, and fishing (and hunting) licenses fund the DFG. I don't want to have to get permission from some corporation to fish. Most likely they would simply decide that dealing with recreatiional fishermen is too much trouble, and refuse to give persmission. Hunters and fishermen were the original conservationists and set up the license and conservation programs in place back in the 1930s, funded by a tax on hunting and fishing equipment. That is an investment made over decades. Since then fish and game stocks have made a dramatic comeback in places where activities are regulated for hunting and fishing purposes. To turn it over to private companies would be a theft of that investment. This is one area that I think government is a better solution.
Carry Okie, I'm particularly interested in your take on this issue. It dovetails nicely with SchwarzenKennedy's Sierra lock-up and puts an interesting spin on his governorship. There's a huge story on this in Sunday's Ventura Star under John Krist's byline. I'd flag you all to the URL but they've passworded their web site and I won't register to get in. The story quotes an official of the California Resources Agency as saying:
"This issue isn't just controversial. It's thermonuclear."
Anyhow, I'm interested in what the governor's activism on this issue means in the context of California's future, and what it means for sportfishermen and commercial fisheries. On one hand it seems somewhat sensible in that it presumes to protect against overfishing. On the other hand it has all the earmarks of a classic elitist environmentalist Agenda 21 lock-up of public property. Comments?
It all depends on enforcement, if cheaters are not caught and punished then nothing is accomplished for the fisheries and respect for our government and laws will be seriously undermined. If they pick the right areas and enforce it then the larger fish that produce the most offspring will be protected and as the young fish grow they will migrate to the open fishing areas. It should work for bottom fish that tend to be territorial as adults.
I just got back from a three week hiadis. It'll take me a couple of days to dig out and get back to you.