Comments by seatizen

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Posted on January 3 at 1:09 p.m.

Thanks for posting the regulations, Pierhead. But just so everyone is clear, Section 630 that doesn't allow boating, swimming, wading, etc is a pre-existing regulation having to do with the area of the Slough that has been identified for years as the Goleta Slough Ecological Reserve. The Goleta Slough and the new Goleta Slough State Marine Conservation Area covers a larger section of the Slough than the original Ecological Reserve. You can conduct all those non-fishing activities in the areas of the new SMCA that don't overlap with the old Ecological Reserve. You can see the maps of the two areas at the following links:

On New No Fishing Zones for California

Posted on January 3 at 11:08 a.m.

Folks, the State Marine Conservation Area designation that the Goleta Slough just got through California's Marine Life Protection Act law does not restrict any non-fishing activity. However, there is a section of the Slough (west of the Airport) that has been a State Ecological Reserve for years and years where you can only hike on designated trails and where you can't enter the water (swim, kayak, wade, etc). The Marine Protection Area designation for the Goleta Slough that went into effect January 1 only prohibits fishing, which is a moot point anyway for this area since you haven't been able to fish in the Slough for years due to the SteelHead Recovery Plan.

On New No Fishing Zones for California

Posted on December 16 at 12:25 p.m.

No. Fishing off the Goleta pier is unaffected.

And a minor correction:
The MPA between Campus Point and Sands beach is technically a State Marine Conservation Area so that ongoing maintenance and monitoring of the existing oil industry infrastructure can continue in this area.

On Ocean Protection Plan Gets the Go-Ahead

Posted on December 10 at 1:38 p.m.

The MPA is called the Campus Point State Marine Reserve, that is why I called it "Campus Point." I know well what areas are within it. And no, the Campus Point SMR was not a compromise between conservationists and fishermen, in fact it was in the very first MPA proposal generated by fishermen. And you are entirely wrong about Naples - Naples isn't closed to all fishing - spearfishing of all pelagic fish and white seabass is allowed. This is the compromise made between conservationists and fishermen - let this extremely critical source of biological productivity receive some protection, and leave other critical fishing spots like Mussel Shoals, Carp, Summerland, One-Mile, Mohawk, Black Rock, Ellwood, Tajiguas, and Auggies Reefs ALL remain open. Now who gets the best out of this compromise??

On Set Gold Standard for Ocean Health Care

Posted on December 9 at 12:04 a.m.

Dear goletakid,
It sounds like the proposed reserve at Campus Point is a difficult one for you to swallow. I'm truly sympathetic. As you likely know the MPAs you see on the proposed maps were created by stakeholders - representatives of all the ocean user groups in southern California- a majority of which represented fishing interests. These fishing representatives spent long hours with their constituents to come up with acceptable MPA placement. I know spearfishing representatives from SB were present at those meetings. The concern I have for you is why this MPA, that you take issue with, was actually the VERY FIRST MPA that FISHERMEN PROPOSED nearly two years ago! I imagine some of your frustration might be based on that. I would be very interested in how your interests weren't heard by those representatives.

@swamijames.. I know very well what "closure" means from a fisheries perspective. Every example you gave was a spatially explicit CLOSURE of a population(s) of a species. Yes, entirely different thing than the principles behind an MPA but, not surprisingly, MPAs are well documented to not just improve ecosystem integrity but also species specific abundance and biomass- even for fisheries!. Added benefit, some would say, eh?!

On Set Gold Standard for Ocean Health Care

Posted on December 8 at 10:37 a.m.

I am inspired by the comments here, as well, 805local, but I do feel the need to clarify some of your points about CA's fisheries management. Yes, some of California's most recent and most extreme fisheries management efforts are now showing signs of working to rebuild some of the devastating exploitation that has occurred off our coast. But let's not confuse "some of the best management" with "good" or "sufficient" management. Unfortunately, you can be the best of the worst at something too. But what I love is how one's viewpoint of fisheries management can change on a dime depending on the agenda or point that is being supported. The only reason our state's fisheries management is showing 'better' signs than that in other regions is because of these drastic measures like full closures and bans of full fisheries like rockfish, abalone, and seabass. SO suddenly, as MoneyMaker points out, what was once called "draconian" fisheries management measures are now being touted as the foundation for why our state's management is so much better than others. Is that considered ironic?
I think it's high time we stop waiting for that alarm bell that signals our marine resources are on the brink of collapse and start proactively managing on precautionary principles.
But, I will agree with you, 805local, that these drastic measures have actually shown that California's fisheries management is learning what is necessary and showing signs of being willing to do it. So, if we are going to praise California's fisheries management, we should by all means identify its most recent Nearshore Fisheries Management Plan which actually explicitly identifies Marine Protected Areas as a critical tool in realizing more improved fisheries stocks. In fact the CA Fisheries Plan goes as far as recommending ~20% of our ocean should be protected in MPAs! And so, again, while the MLPA isn't a fisheries management directive, it looks like the implementation of protecting approximately 15% of our oceans for Southern CA is even a starting point toward what our praised fisheries management calls for. Maybe if we keep up doing what is best we really may someday be the 'best!'

On Set Gold Standard for Ocean Health Care

Posted on December 7 at 4:21 p.m.

SwamiJames, Sorry, but I'm afraid you're the one who has missed the mark here. First of all, the MLPA is not a fisheries management law - its focus is to better the integrity of California's marine ecosystems as well as protect our natural resources that we ALL value and depend on- not just fishermen.

Also, your examples of "booming fish populations" are perfect to identify the opposite of what you are claiming since all of these fisheries have had to go through drastic CLOSURES to see some resemblance of rebound from decline. White Seabass' better status is wholly attributed to the Gill Net BAN and the intense effort of restocking through the Enhancement and Hatchery Program. Black Seabass are no where near "booming" but their turn from the brink of extinction is only due to the 1981 law that CLOSED this species to fishing. Finally, it can be well argued that the Halibut fisheries would be in far worse shape if it didn't already have its own spatially explicit NO-FISHING zones - with trawling being prohibited in all state waters except within the CA Halibut Trawl Grounds.

So way to go, Mr. Chouinard, for speaking out about what everyone knows is needed, globally proven to work, and beneficial to all in the long run, and yet opposed by short sighted self-interest. So, on behalf of the rest of us who also log hundred of hours underwater and/or fishing - Thank you, Mr. Chouinard!

On Set Gold Standard for Ocean Health Care

Posted on July 16 at 4:04 p.m.

Oh come on, equus_p

If you're claiming that the fishing pressure outside of MPAs, which will only make up less than 17% of our entire coast, will be so intense as to either decimate fish populations (a common propaganda message by the fishing industry, by the way) or cause such extreme selective pressure on the species to cause adaptation to only staying in MPAs, then our fisheries are in FAR WORSE shape then we even realize!!!! So actually, your fear theory is proof positive that fisheries are doing horribly! ha.

Stop scaring people or creating misinformation hoping that people will question what science (and yeah yeah, we've all heard that science that doesn't meet your agenda or special interest is "corrupt") has proven and millions and millions of people are in support of - that MPAs help safeguard our marine resources for EVERYONE.

On Good for Fisheries

Posted on June 7 at 4:43 p.m.

Dear rsully,
I am sorry if Venoco is telling you that your job hinges on the outcome of tomorrow's vote. I have heard other Venoco employees have been told similar stories, which frankly is a questionable way for a company to 'encourage' its employees to consider a ballot measure. A vote of NO on Measure J does not, in any way, prohibit Venoco from continuing its current operations at its Carpinteria location, so holding a job at that site should be independent of the outcome. Furthermore, a vote of NO on Measure J does not prohibit Venoco from continuing to pursue an oil drilling development, it just means that they will have to do so through the normal channels of application with the City of Carpinteria.
I am sorry to hear the Denver-based corporation is using such tactics of job threats to influence anyone regarding the way one votes on a ballot measure.
Best of luck. Please VOTE NO on Measure J.

On Carp Residents Protest Measure J

Posted on April 29 at 11:04 a.m.

Critics also point to how the oil company Venoco's Measure J would exempt the corporation and any project they choose to pursue at the site on the Carpinteria Bluffs from any normal governing or regulatory oversight by the City of Carpinteria. This carte blanche authority will leave the City powerless to act on its citizens' behalf and can be found referenced numerous times in the 40+page document that is in fact Measure J, including this quote on page 18,
"To the extent that any provision of this Specific Plan [drilling projects by Venoco in Carpinteria] is inconsistent with the requirements of the Carpinteria Municipal Code or any rules, regulations or official policies of City, the provisions of this Specific Plan shall govern. Further, to the extent that any provision of the Carpinteria Municipal Code or any rule, regulation or official policy of City FRUSTRATES the purpose and intent of this Specific Plan, those inconsistent provisions of the Carpinteria Municipal Code or rules, regulations or official policies of the City shall be superseded by this Specific Plan."

No argument and no amount of theoretically promised money justifies an initiative that would transfer a City's governance over land use within city limits to a corporate board.

If Measure J passes, it will be a disastrous precedent for all of California.

On Carp Chamber of Commerce Flip-Flops Again on Measure J

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