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Coastside Fishing Club's appeal to go forward; hearing that could roll back saltwater fishing closures expected in late in 2012

By Paul Lebowitz
WON Staff Writer

In October, angling advocates United Anglers of Southern California, Coastside Fishing Club and Robert C. Fletcher suffered the first setback in their legal campaign targeting privately funded Marine Life Protection Act ocean fishing closures. San Diego Superior Court judge Ronald S. Prager rejected arguments that the Fish and Game Commission exceeded its authority when it approved new marine protected areas in North-Central California.

In December, Coastside attorneys struck back, appealing the ruling. On Jan. 9, the Commission filed a motion to dismiss the appeal. The Court of Appeal denied the motion, meaning the appeal will go forward. It is expected to be heard in late 2012. If it is successful, not only could it roll back saltwater fishing closures in North-Central California, it could pull recently approved Southern California closures off the map.

Coastside's statement:
As you are probably aware, on December 15, 2011 we filed a Notice of Appeal on behalf of Coastside Fishing Club, appealing the trial court’s denial of Coastside’s claims that the Fish and Game Commission lacked statutory authority and failed to follow required procedures in adopting the North Central Coast MPAs and MPA regulations. All of the remaining claims brought by United Anglers and Robert Fletcher (the South Coast regulatory authority and CEQA claims, as well as the Coastal Act claim) are still pending in the trial court; a trial date has not yet been set.

On January 9, 2012, the Fish and Game Commission filed a motion in the court of appeal to dismiss Coastside’s appeal, arguing that Coastside must wait to appeal until all of the remaining claims still pending in the trial court have been resolved.

We just received good news from the court of appeal — it denied the Commission’s motion. Coastside’s appeal may therefore go forward and be heard on the merits. 


How to donate:

To raise funds for the legal challenge,  anglers, boaters and anyone interested in a fair legal process can visit www.SaveCAFishing.org and contribute to the effort. Under the "Donate" section of the site, individuals can contribute $5 or more a month on a recurring basis, or make a one-time donation. All proceeds will directly support legal action to keep California's healthy and abundance coastal waters open to sportfishing.


"Based on initial returns, the SaveCAFishing.org website has tremendous potential to raise the funds needed to protect sportfishing access in California," said Bob Fletcher, former president of the Sportfishing Association of California and a plaintiff in the lawsuit. "In order to keep the legal challenge going over the coming months, we need anglers to step up and pledge their support. A simple $5 or more monthly contribution to the legal effort will go a long way towards ensuring that current and future generations can enjoy accessing California's coastal waters."        

Reader Comments
That is awesome. Anything that doesn't make it a cakewalk for the "whacked out" environmentalists to stomp on our rights is great by me.
Aaron Brenner
Taking individuals rights is always a negative act!
Lady Lee
I think this is one of the most important legal battles ever; in a state where special intrests control between 70-90% of the Budget, and now via MLPA they want tens of millions of dollars to take away our freedoms. What's next?
John Kreber
I will continue to pray that my children will have the same opportunity to enjoy our coastline as I have had. It is after all our ocean not the states.
craig brazda
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