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Posted on Jul 20, 2012 in Pacific Currents, California fishing
Two California Bills Aim to Silence Anglers in the State's Fisheries Management Process
by Jim Hendricks
 MG 5936
Jim Hendricks
Two bills pending in the California legislature would block recreational fishermen from having any input in the state's fisheries management plans and actions.

Two bills have been introduced in the California legislature that together will effectively remove recreational anglers from fisheries management and conservation discussions in the state, according to Keep America Fishing (KAF).

SB 1148 and AB 2402 were initially introduced into the California legislature to improve how the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) functions, but special interest groups have succeeded in amending the bills to include provisions detrimental to anglers, says KAF. Among other things, these two bills would authorize "nonprofit partnerships" between well-financed organizations and the DFG, allowing these special interest groups to further their agendas within the DFG, KAF said in an e-mail alert sent out today. Also, the amendments would remove the California Fish and Game Commission's regulatory power over marine protected areas and listing of threatened and endangered species, and instead put it in the hands of the DFG. This could result in  such nonprofit partners making important decisions that further limit fishing access to public waters without any public forum or transparency in the process.

It is no secret that many of these nonprofit groups are out to stop recreational fishing under the guise of fisheries management. It has become obvious to me that such organizations are actually animal right activists, but carrying out their agenda's under the guise of marine conservation. I also believe firmly that private funding of any public process is fundamentally inappropriate. 

We need to stop these bills as currently written. If passed, these two bills will have a significant impact on recreational fishing in California. They will allow anti-fishing groups to have unchecked influence in fishery management and remove important checks and balances in the policymaking forum. 

I urge you to take action today to ensure that you can continue to fight for your right to fish. Send a message to your state today to ensure that you voice is heard. Click here to take action today!