Conservation of fish has broken out in California, and some fishermen are having none of it. They want to win back the mere 18% of ocean waters protected recently in central California's coastal waters.
A surprising aspect of this attack is that they're supported by fisheries scientist Ray Hilborn, acting more like a pro-fishing activist. Likening anyone who disagrees to religious zealots, Mr. Hilborn proclaims that all is well in California. Has he noticed that California's groundfish fisheries were declared a federal disaster in 2000?
This attack on California's new MPAs is hard for blogfish to understand. To my fishing friends in California: if you can't catch everything you want in 82% of the ocean, why do you think the other 18% will give you what you want?
The real conflict seems to be over who controls our oceans. Fishing interests and fisheries scientists, used to being in charge, want everyone else to butt out. Scientists and others with broader agendas are tired of waiting for the promised land of self-managed fisheries that actually conserve fish.
Note the map at right, seems like quite a bit of ocean is still open for fishing. California's ocean conservation actions will likely be heralded as visionary in 100 years, click here for more including detailed maps.
Mr. Hilborn, with his dogmatic defense of fishing is drawing some sharp new battle lines in the debate over how much fishing is too much. Apparently, The Good Depletion is more than just a good idea to Mr. Hilborn. This struggle is far from over, and blogfish is keenly interested.