A recent article in the Orange County Weekly chronicles the decline of fishing interests as a result of the newly created Marine Life Protection Act closures.
“Out to Sea: Due to overregulation in the name of conservation, Orange County fishermen face extinction”
Since Jan. 1, prime Orange County fishing areas have been barred indefinitely by Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), state-imposed no-fishing zones aimed at restoring underwater ecosystems that some ecologists believe have been fished out. Environmentalists have hailed the ambitious effort, authorized by the 1999 Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) and implemented by the California Fish and Game Commission, as a major milestone in marine conservation. But many in the Southern California fishing community believe it’s the wrong move, one that unfairly targets their industry at the expense of others and is having disastrous consequences in local economies from food to tourism and beyond. They’re not going down without a fight: The tug-of-war between fishermen and conservationists has recently spiraled into a full-fledged political maelstrom, as angler groups in Southern California have filed an appeal in San Diego Superior Court in hope of overturning the regulations and reclaiming an American tradition on what they see as public turf.
But as the new season begins for many fishermen, there’s already a sense of doom. Some of the displaced have been forced to venture into outside territories, alter their business models, or turn in their licenses and lines to look for work elsewhere.
Read More: HERE