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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Make Your Voice Heard on Regulations That Propose to Close Southern California's Marine Waters to Fishing


This May Be Your Last Chance to Comment on MLPA Regulations Before They Are Finalized
The Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) process, which propose to unnecessarily close much of the state's best coastal waters to sportfishing, is near completion in southern California, but anglers and boaters still have an opportunity to provide input before these regulations are finalized. On October 3, the California Fish and Game Commission opened a 15-day public comment period for revised proposed regulations for the South Coast marine protected areas developed under the MLPA process. Revisions were made because the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL), which must first review and approve the regulations before they go into effect, rejected the regulatory package previously provided by the commission.
The re-noticed regulatory package attempts to clarify and revise several aspects of the commission's decision making per the OAL's request, and makes changes to some of the proposed marine protected area (MPA) boundaries and what activities will be allowed in them. The Partnership for Sustainable Oceans, which represents the interests of California's recreational anglers and boaters in the MLPA process, urges all anglers to provide their thoughts and concerns about the regulations prior to the October 18, deadline. Comments will also be accepted at the October 19 Fish and Game Commission meeting in Monterey, Calif. It is important that anglers respond to the revised MPA regulations since they may significantly affect their ability to access the most productive ocean areas!

Act Now

Enter your zip code below to send a letter to the Fish and Game Commission expressing your concerns with the revised regulations, and the MLPA in general, before the October 18 deadline. Thank you for doing your part to keep California fishing!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fish and Game Commission Votes on New Effective Date for South Coast MPAs

Media Contact:
Jordan Traverso, DFG Communications, (916) 654-9937
The California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) today selected Jan. 1, 2012 as the effective date for implementation of the marine protected areas (MPAs) in Southern California. The revised effective date is for the South Coast Study Region, which spans from Point Conception in Santa Barbara County to the U.S./Mexico border.
On Dec. 15, 2010 the Commission adopted regulations to create a suite of MPAs in this study region. Developed pursuant the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), this network of 49 MPAs and three special closures covers approximately 354 square miles of state waters and represents approximately 15 percent of the region.
The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) requested clarification and further information, thus disapproving the original regulatory package. This ineffectuated the Commission’s previously selected implementation date of Oct. 1. All of the information requested by OAL is expected to be provided in time for the Commission to put the potential re-adoption of the regulatory package on its October agenda.
If re-adopted, the new effective date of Jan. 1, 2012, selected today, allows time for OAL to review and approve the re-submitted regulations, finalizing the lawmaking process. It also allows the Commission and Department of Fish and Game (DFG) to better inform affected ocean users of the new regulations.
For more information on the south coast MPAs or MLPA, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/southcoast.asp.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Notice of Written Comments are due

During the regulatory process to amend Section 632, Title 14, California Code of Regulations, regarding south coast marine protected areas, changes were made to the originally proposed regulatory language.

Because these regulations are different from, yet sufficiently related to, the originally proposed regulations, the Administrative Procedure Act requires that we make the changes available to you for a 15-day written comment period (October 3, 2011- October 18, 2011).  Comments will also be accepted at the October 19, 2011 hearing in Monterey.

The continuation notice, including an updated informative digest, and the modified proposed regulatory language are posted at http://www.fgc.ca.gov/regulations/2010/#632sc

This is also to provide you with a notice of availability of a document added to the rulemaking file.  The November 3, 2010 Amended Initial Statement of Reason identified Attachment 17: California Department of Fish and Game Memo to the Commission regarding outstanding issues identified in the proposed Initial Statement of Reasons to Amend Section 632 Title 14, CCR (October 11, 2010) as a document supporting the proposed regulations.  This document is available for public inspection between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, at 1416 Ninth Street, Room 1320, Sacramento, CA, and on the Commission's website at http://www.fgc.ca.gov/regulations/2010/#632sc

Written comments must be received in the Commission office by 5:00 pm on October 18, 2011.  Interested persons may attend the October 19, 2011 hearing in Monterey and offer testimony.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fish and Game Commission Re-Notices Proposed South Coast MPA Regulations

Sacramento, CA – October 5, 2011 – On October 3, the California Fish and Game Commission opened a 15-day public comment period for revised proposed regulations for the South Coast marine protected areas developed under the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) process. Revisions were made because the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL), which must first review and approve the regulations before they go into effect, rejected the regulatory package previously provided by the commission.
The Partnership for Sustainable Oceans, which represents the interests of California's recreational anglers and boaters in the MLPA process, is currently reviewing the revised regulations and will provide suggested issues to consider when commenting on the regulations prior to the October 18, deadline. Comments will also be accepted at the October 19 Fish and Game Commission meeting in Monterey, Calif. It is important that anglers respond to the revised MPA regulations since they may significantly affect their ability to access the most productive ocean areas.
During its September meeting, the commission outlined a proposed timeline to re-notice and finalize the South Coast MLPA regulations, resubmit them to OAL, and seek an anticipated effective date of January 1, 2012. This projected effective date is not only dependent on OAL approval, but also may be affected by the outcome of a pending lawsuit filed by members of the PSO.
The lawsuit seeks to set aside the MLPA regulations for the North Central and South Coast study regions, citing a lack of statutory authority for the Fish and Game Commission to adopt the regulations, and, in the case of the South Coast regulations, numerous violations of the California Environmental Quality Act in the commission's environmental review of the regulations. A hearing on the North Central Coast portion of the case, originally set for September 26, will now take place on October 6, in San Diego.

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