First, environmental groups and their allies in California state government ignored science, chose to follow a United Nations model, and closed off vast areas for sport fishing through establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
Now they want to steal money from anglers and boaters to manage those areas.
“Of course, the enviro groups are all over this (Marine Protected Areas Partnership Plan draft) in glowing terms about how great it is, how progressive the permanent closures are, etc.,” said Phil Morlock, Director of Environmental Affairs for Shimano.
In responding to a state request for public input, Morlock concluded with this:
“What cannot be argued is the fact that permanent MPA access closures to vast areas of prime fishing habitat have deprived anglers of access to public waters and to a public resource – fish.
“MPAs as established in coastal California are clearly not fishery management tools.
“We concur with others in the recreational angling community who maintain that anglers should not be expected or required to contribute any license, trust fund or vessel fee revenue to fund MPA management, law enforcement or any associated program in consideration of the negative impact MPA’s have caused by reducing recreational fishing opportunities.
“Those who supported these unnecessary MPA closures should be required to continue to also support their ongoing fiscal requirements.”
And here’s something that should be of concern to anglers everywhere:
The same anti-fishing zealots who closed off California waters are pushing for similar programs elsewhere, including the Great Lakes. The California MPA plan was adopted as one-size-fits all, ostensibly to “protect” habitat, even though no documented threat exists.
“It was essentially a ‘solution’ to a manufactured crisis that bypassed hard science, independent peer review, and inappropriately conjoined recreational fishing with commercial fishing impacts under the buzzword ‘overfishing,’ in the attempt to justify these closures,” Morlock said.
“From all appearances, the United Nations can’t manage a two-car parking lot effectively. Rather than encouraging them to elevate their policy to adopt the unparalleled success of the American Model of science-based fishery management and sustainable use doctrine, we continue to apply the lowest common denominator in a rush to reverse over a century of proven success.”