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>> MLPA Update Oct-1-2008, United Anglers of SC — [topic: previous/next]
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:24 pm
Ken Jones

Posts: 9780
Location: California

Monthly United Anglers MLPA Update Oct-1-2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008 5:20 PM
From: "United Anglers of Southern California"

The Monthly United Anglers of Southern California MLPA Update Oct-1-2008

* New Regional Stakeholder Group
* Extension of Ecotrust On-line Survey

Marine Life Protection Act Update – New Regional Stakeholder Group

The Chair Don Benninghoven of the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force and Director Don Koch of the California Department of Fish and Game have released the list of names for persons residing in southern California who will make up the Regional Stakeholder Group (RSG) for the South Coast Region. United Anglers of Southern California will be represented by Bob Osborn and Wendy Tochihara.

This group will be assigned the task over the coming year to design a network of marine protected areas between Point Conception and the Mexican border including the offshore islands.

The MLPAI team sent a congratulatory letter to the persons selected on Sunday. And the first meeting of this group will be October 6 and 7 in El Segundo, California at the Embassy Suites. The meeting will be open to the public so if you can come on out and meet the people who will be representing you in this crucial step in implementing the Marine Life Protection Act.

I would like to congratulate all the other persons appointed to the panel and eagerly look forward to working with them in a positive manner to ensure a conservation outcome that will preserve the vibrancy of southern California marine recreational fishing and ensure that the kind of access to the ocean that has made our sport so popular is protected.

For complete list of new members of the South Coast Regional Stakeholder Group please go to MLPA Information section on our website at www.unitedanglers.com
Bob Osborn.

Extension of Ecotrust On-line Survey

Based on feedback and requests from multiple members of the South Coast recreational fishing community, and in an effort to engage as many fishermen as possible in the interview process, Ecotrust will be extending the dates for completion of the on-line recreational interview.

The new dates are as follows:

Registration for the interview process must occur before October 8, 2008

Interviews must be completed before October 11, 2008.

To register for the interview, please sign-up at http://www.ecotrust.org/mlpa/interview_signup.

If you have lost that original email or forgot your username and password, please contact us at fish@ecotrust.org and we will provide you with a new one.

This is a key opportunity to participate in the interview process. Data collected in the interviews are critical to the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative process for marine protected area (MPA) planning in the south coast study region as they allow the regional stakeholder group to consider potential impacts on recreational activities as they design marine reserve networks. Participation in the Ecotrust survey is one of the best ways for recreational fishermen in southern California to ensure that their input is accurately considered in MPA planning.

This deadline has been set in order to allow sufficient time for review of the data by both Ecotrust staff and by the recreational fishing community itself before it is submitted to the MLPA process. After all of the data is collected/analyzed, we will generate aggregated maps, ensuring that each individual’s information remains confidential. These maps will then be reviewed by the recreational fishing community to ensure that the information is accurate and correctly reflects areas of importance. When we get to this stage in the review process, all fishermen who signed up for the interview (even if they didn't complete the interview) will be able to participate in the review of the aggregated maps and provide feedback on their representativeness and accuracy.

Your willingness to participate is not only appreciated, but indeed vital to the success of this project. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach us at fish@ecotrust.org or contact Jon Bonkoski at jbonkoski@ecotrust.org or 503.467.0804 or Sarah Kruse at skruse@ecotrust.org or 503.467.0785. The project website is www.ecotrust.org/mlpa.

Support UPSAC! Preserve pier and shore angling in California.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:49 am

Posts: 7
Location: Noyo Harbor

RLFF's big grant creates big waves

Partnership unhappy, removes UASC leader

By Ed Zieralski
October 19, 2008

Once the California state legislature's Little Orphan Annie, the Marine Life Protection Act now is going full speed thanks to an environmentalist-backed Daddy Warbucks paying the bills.
The MLPA, which calls for a network of marine reserves along California's coastline, is being funded by the environmentalist-driven Resources Legacy Fund Foundation (RLFF). The RLFF, with its various foundations, has contributed more than $7.2 million to the MLPA process to keep it going.

To complicate and confound matters, the RLFF kicked over $200,000 in August to the United Anglers of Southern California (UASC), a group of recreational fishermen who would be impacted by ocean closures for marine reserves.
Going into the MLPA process in the South Coast Region, UASC President Tom Raftican and his estimated 40,000 members were part of the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans. Raftican shared ideas and agreed to raise money to fund studies, fight closures and keep fishermen fishing as much as possible along Southern California.

But when the Partnership, a group of fishing industry leaders, found out Raftican took a $200,000 grant from the RLFF and never mentioned it, the members sought answers from Raftican.

Raftican's response, according to one Partnership member who wished to remain anonymous, was that the money was for angler outreach. Raftican's answer wasn't good enough for the members of the Partnership, so Raftican and the UASC were voted out.

“We had philosophical differences and decided to part ways with United Anglers of Southern California,” the Partnership member said.

As a matter of background, the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans was formed by some of the top ocean fishing conservation groups in the state and nation. It includes the American Sportfishing Association, Berkley Conservation Institute, Coastside Fishing Club, International Fish and Game Association, Kayak Fishing Association of California, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Northern California Kayak Anglers, Southern California Marine Association and the Sportfishing Association of California.

Raftican confirmed this week that he accepted the $200,000 grant from the RLFF. He said he has taken much more money from them over the years in other grants. He didn't have the exact figure, but he said he received grants from RLFF to fight bottom trawling and other issues that threaten recreational fishing. He said he accepted the grant in August, but couldn't share it with the Partnership because the grant money was targeted for United Anglers, not the Partnership.

Raftican said he plans to use the grant money – $100,000 this year and $100,000 next year – to continue UASC's goals – maintain access for fishermen and ensure there are fish to be caught by future generations of fishermen. He said he'll also use the money to employ policy wonk Bob Osborn on a full-time basis and cover his expenses to be on the South Coast Regional Stakeholders group.

Both UASC and key members of the Partnership vowed to continue working for fishermen's rights and to fight fishing closures. It's just that these two groups won't be working together.

That's unfortunate and couldn't come at a worse time.

The South Coast Region part of the MLPA process promises to be the most contentious of all five regions because of the amount of fishing areas and people who use them.

As for the future of United Anglers of Southern California, one has to wonder how the fishing community will react when it learns a membership to United Anglers of Southern California gets them associated with the very group, the RLFF, that fishing groups know hijacked and is funding the MLPA process.

There is a clear sense that the DFG and the state's Resources Department are beholding to the RLFF and its environmental fund sources to create as many no-fishing marine reserves as they can.

Now United Anglers of Southern California is being funded by a foundation that the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans and others knowledgeable about the process do not consider recreational or commercial fishing-friendly.

That's why the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans booted United Anglers of Southern California out. Raftican can spin it any way he wants, but he and his group now are beholding to the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation. And how he balances that with issues regarding his 40,000 fishermen-members in UASC will be interesting to watch.

Ed Zieralski: (619) 293-1225; ed.zieralski@uniontrib.com

Jim Martin
Recreational Fishing Alliance
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