Tuesday, August 15, 2006
California moves to protect ocean ecosystems
The California Fish & Game Commission moved closer to protecting ocean ecosystems.
As debate continued late into Tuesday night, the protection plan was taking shape. California is close to final action in creating an historic network of marine protected areas that restrict or eliminate fishing along the state's central coast region. Streaming video or tape of the debate available here, including public comments. It's fascinating to watch this history being made.
With all the bad news about ocean decline, creating some areas where fish can reproduce unmolested is a necessary step in ensuring there are fish in our future ocean. Even where declines are not caused by fishing, it's a good idea to let depleted fish populations have some refuge areas so they can do their best to survive global warming and hypoxia, etc.
Many fishermen are incensed about Marine Protected Areas, believing that we have a right ot fish anywhere. But come on fellas, be reasonable. Freshwater refuges have been around a long time and they enjoy wide support among fishermen. Why not in the ocean? Fishing regulations are often a haphazard and piecemeal effort to protect fish, and we all know the patchwork of regulations frequently fail to achieve their goals. Refuge areas are a common sense idea whose time has come.
MPAs work, and let's all rise about our personal interests and embrace the strong medicine needed to ensure that we give fish a chance in the non-pristine oceans of our future. Tweet