|Ecotrust is an organization hired by the MLPA to provide data on the impact of possible MPAs. The main complaint we had with the data was that it was never really used to give meaningful information on the recreational side of the equation. Most of the information that was provided showed the affect the various MPAs would have on the commercial boats in the different ports. Thus if a port showed a rockfish catch of $100,000 and that area would be closed by a MPPA then there was a projected loss to the commercial boats in that area of $100,000. The Stakeholders tried to keep loss of incomes (jobs) at a minimum wherever possible.
We tried time after time to bring in the onshore affect to local businesses when an area such as Sonoma County and Mendocino County see a loss of abalone areas, bottom fishing areas and salmon areas. That data, which I felt was meaningful, was never presented since it "wasn't available."
Ecotrust isn't a bad organization, and in fact they have asked for comments, but as used in our region the data presented just wasn't that valuable for many of us.
And, when you interview 30-40 people and use that data to represent several thousand people, there is considerable room for error and misuse. It certainly is a stretch to then use that data and say that see, we interviewed inshore anglers to get their views. I initially thought there was value in the interviews but I'm not so certain at this point.
Support UPSAC! Preserve pier and shore angling in California.