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Tuesday, April 14, 2009
DANA POINT MEETING APRIL 15 AND 16
Thursday, April 16, 2009
SQUEEZE PLAY


CLOSURES BY PROXY
I had to walk out of the room before I got arrested. I had already got away with some low voiced, but easily audible, comments. I didn't want to have the two good guys who work as DFG wardens to have to do their job and keep the peace.

The occasion was the public comment period of the first day of the Blue Ribbon Task Force meeting at the Marriott Laguna Cliffs in Dana Point. It was pushed all the way back to 4:30 from 3 and just like always a lot of concerned fishermen had to give their minutes to our representatives just so they could have a decent amount of time to speak. (I have no problem with that, who wants to hear the same comment over and over?)

It's just that this time the Marine Life Protection Act I Team chose to respond to a comment made my George Osborn of the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans, a group that represents just about everybody who fishes (including United Anglers, if you haven't heard).

The reason? Osborn described the recent SAT meeting and the scientists admissions of the lack of good data much better than my recent blog, SCIENTISTS STRETCH THE LIMITS OF CREDIBILITY.

He also emphasized the process is being pushed faster than the stakeholders can get the data needed to make the right decisions and create a quality network. (More on why in a later blog.)

First Melissa Miller-Hensen and then Evan Fox explained that with more stakeholders (more than 60) and data that is already better than the previous two projects had, there is no problem with moving forward. One of the serious information gaps is the habitat from 0 to 30 fathoms (0 to 180 feet) along the mainland coast of Southern California, which, as Osborn noted, just happens to be where everyone fishes.

The SAT says there is no data available. Fox noted the South Coast has 62 percent of the fine scale (actually acquired with sonar) data, while the Central Coast (already in place) got by with 20 percent. He said the scientists, just like they did in the Central Coast and the North Central Coast, will create a proxy for the missing data.

Everyone went stone cold silent at that statement. That's when I wanted to shout, but all I would have had to do was speak in a normal voice. Here's what I wanted to say if true give and take were possible:

"So all you have created so far is a proxy for a network of reserves?"

Hardly an inflammatory statement, but not if you live and fish along the northern edge of the state.Or hope to fish in Southern California in the future.

Don't we deserve the real thing created with real data?



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