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Topic: Email F&G Commission to oppose MPA expansion petitions  (Read 1268 times)

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Rick

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Now is your chance to email the F&G Commission to oppose several of the MPA decadal review petitions. You have until February 9 to ensure that the Commissioners have a chance to read your letter prior to the February 14/15 meeting.

Petitions (any of those ending in MPA, e.g. 2023-23MPA):
https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=201924&inline

Email: fgc@fgc.ca.gov

Email format:
1. State your name, area of residence and whom representing.
2. State your major points first.
3. Briefly support major points with factual data, rationale, and/or logic.
4. Conclude with a brief summary of your major points.

Particularly bad petitions relevant to norcal/socal kayak, most important in bold IMO:

2023-23MPA: This petition will effectively ban fishing and spearfishing from the entire north side of the Monterey Peninsula by converting existing SMCAs to no-take SMRs. These SMCAs provide important nearshore opportunities for various consumptive stakeholders. The petitioner, as he attempted in a prior petition rejected by FGC (petition 2023-02), incorrectly claims eliminating finfish take will benefit kelp. This petition is not grounded in scientific reasoning or sound fisheries management and should be rejected.

2023-24MPA: This petition will effectively ban fishing, spearfishing, and all other take in the entirety of Laguna Beach. The petitioner cites ease of enforcement and anecdotal overharvesting and substrate degradation as rationale. This is unfair to consumptive stakeholders, essentially saying "it is too hard for city enforcement to learn the different regulations between different areas, so we want to impose a blanket ban on all consumptive stakeholders rather than addressing the root problem of educating the public." Lazy.

2023-26MPA: This petition aims to protect intertidal habitat and simplify enforcement but will effectively ban lobster diving from the productive reef at the southern end of Cardiff State Beach. This petition should be rejected and the petitioner advised to propose a smaller, intertidal-take-specific MPA in its place if that truly is the concern.

2023-29MPA: This petition will effectively ban all take off Carpinteria in Santa Barbara County. This is a popular and important nearshore access opportunity for low impact recreation like lobster diving, which is limited to shallow reefs like those found here.

2023-32MPA: This petition will severely limit shore angling opportunities and some kayak opportunity off the Marin coastline by expanding Duxbury Reef SMCA outward and northward and converting to SMR for easier enforcement.

2023-33MPA: This petition will severely limit consumptive stakeholder opportunities in several important kelp forests in Southern and Central California. It is inappropriate for a single petition to propose changes to seven unrelated areas; this petition should be split into seven distinct petitions to weigh stakeholder input for each specific area. The petition cites warm water events and pollution as threats to kelp forests, yet expanding MPA areas do nothing to mitigate these threats. Particularly:
  • Expanding Natural Bridges SMR (and intertidal-focused MPA) to 3nm offshore will eliminate large swaths of groundfish and salmon opportunity from anglers, completely unrelated to the inshore kelp.
  • Designating the Pleasure Point SMR as proposed will result in divers and anglers losing access to important inshore reefs and kelp in eastern Santa Cruz County.



boilmeimirish

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This is insanely infuriating. Thanks for bringing attention to these Rick, I hope I’m not alone in sending an email (in my case, multiple emails), and I’ll be sure to be in attendance at the Feb 14/15 F&G Commission meeting in Sacramento.

I learned how to spearfish in Laguna and went to each and every meeting back then when they had their God forsaken “blue ribbon task force” that sited bogus larval dispersion data amongst other ridiculous rationale for closing miles and miles of pristine fishing in the first place. Now they want more? Hell no.

My last dive down there, in November, yielded three nice day time bugs that were living among—I shit you not—abs stacked on abs. Green abalone were absolutely everywhere. This is in one of the few spots that are left to dive/fish—in which all fisherman are funneled into fishing since last set of closures—and yet it’s THRIVING.

Say it with me: NO MORE CLOSURES


NowhereMan

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If I'm reading it correctly, they do say that they are "willing to consider" a Pleasure Point SMCA that would allow hook-and-line and spear fishing. If so, that might not be so bad.

Wrt Natural Bridges, they claim that "Multiple patches of resilient kelp forest exist just offshore from the current SMR boundaries". If so, that might justify extending the current boundary by a few feet, but 3NM? That's insane.
Please don't spoil my day, I'm miles away...


ex-kayaker

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Amazing, all we used to hear from the pro-mpa side was that nobody is trying to take fishing rights away, you’re still allowed take in conservation areas, XX% of the ocean is still fishable.   Yet here we are, with petitions to: expand existing protected areas, create new protected areas and convert conservation areas into protected areas. 

More proof that nothing is done in good faith or with good intentions.  Let this be a lesson for the pro 30X30 crowd…..50X50 won’t be far off ……incrementalism in its finest form. 
..........agarcia is just an ex-kayaker


polepole

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Where there any proposals to reduce MPA’s?  If not, why not?  We should draft some.  Maybe too late for this round, but some time in the future.

-Allen


Rick

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If I'm reading it correctly, they do say that they are "willing to consider" a Pleasure Point SMCA that would allow hook-and-line and spear fishing. If so, that might not be so bad.

Agreed, not the end of the world, but not great (especially since in this decadal review there were many petitions to re-designate SMCAs as SMRs). That said, I'm cautiously optimistic many of these petitions will be denied.

Where there any proposals to reduce MPA’s?  If not, why not?  We should draft some.  Maybe too late for this round, but some time in the future.

-Allen

None that reduce per se, just a few that propose modifying allowed take (e.g. open up Bodega Head to commercial salmon). I think since 30x30 is the guiding initiative now (monotonically increasing), it would be a hard sell to even "trade" new MPAs for reopening existing MPAs but keeping the same net acreage/area, let alone reduce the total acreage/area.

IIRC I think Wayne Kotow (Coastal Conservation Association) actually used this idea as a bargaining chip of sorts when the MPA Decadal Management Review and 30x30 came to the table, essentially telling the Commission something like: "Look, I could announce to every sportfishing group that the 30x30 Initiative and MPA Decadal Management Review are coming to close the rest of CA to fishing, riling everyone up to drag their heels and inundate the process with a flood of petitions to re-open everything... OR everyone can cooperate and act in good faith to legitimately improve the MPA system in a manner that's fair to all stakeholders."


JoeDubC

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Thanks for this post. I did not see it earlier.
I think petitioning to make certain SMRs into SMCAs could be a good way to counter the other side.
Hobie i9
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JoeDubC

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I sent a letter listing specific petitions that I opposed and why. In Monterey and Santa Cruz, it's all about protecting the kelp, but they don't make a very good case for how recreational fishing has a negative effect on kelp. Both those areas of proposed MPA expansion would have a significant impact on our sport.

I'm not sure about the Duxbury redesignation and expansion, but I opposed it anyway. I'm also opposed expanding Point Buchon north. I don't fish there but I think Montana de Oro is one of the few put-ins on the Central Coast.

Hobie i9
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The Gopher

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The people behind the regs would prefer zero fishing. Opportunities will be diminished regardless of the health of our fisheries, whales, quillbacks, kelp forests, whatever. I don’t trust them or their explanations anymore.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2024, 01:47:44 PM by The Gopher »
Fish & let fish


Rick

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I'm also opposed expanding Point Buchon north. I don't fish there but I think Montana de Oro is one of the few put-ins on the Central Coast.

Fortunately that one proposes expanding it north by only ~100 yards to the point proper and not all the way into MDO as I understand it. Still, you'd be bummed if your honey hole was right off those wash rocks.


JoeDubC

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The best poke poling area on the San Mateo coast was turned into an SMR back in the day. I haven’t found anything close since.  So it affected me personally but I sucked it up for the greater good, since it was also an ab poaching hot spot. But I don’t really see a need for any new ones at this point until we can assess the results of the existing ones.
Hobie i9
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crash

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“Pyramid Point SMCA boundary is in Oregon”.

This has always amused me ever since they did it.  Oregon isn’t even complaining, it’s the local tribe asking for it to change.
"SCIENCE SUCKS" - bmb


 

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