Written by Jen Finn
Conservationists, fishermen, local officials and recreational ocean users came together yesterday to urge the California Coastal Commission to reject a seismic testing permit near Morro Bay. The commission voted unanimously to do just that, in part because they found the project in direct conflict with nearby protected areas created through the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA).
From above, the coastline off San Luis Obispo County looks peaceful. Morro Bay stretches out like a classic California postcard, brimming with sea life and showing off its picturesque sunsets. This stretch of sea, however, has been the subject of intense debate over the past several months – and equally passionate collaboration.
When it comes to ocean policy, conservationists, fishermen, agency staff, tribes, county supervisors and the media don't always see eye to eye. But the risky consequences of high energy seismic testing at Diablo Canyon, a nuclear power plant parked right on the central coast of California, have had a remarkable unifying effect.
Brought together by deep concerns over a controversial project proposed by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), these unlikely bedfellows have spoken with one voice to oppose the use of powerful air cannons –that would have unavoidable, long term impacts to ocean wildlife—to produce 3D images of subterranean faults off of San Luis Obispo County.
Today the California Coastal Commission validated those concerns. In a unanimous vote that followed more than five hours of public comment and discussion, charged by a packed room of more than 200 people, a thoughtful and deliberate Commission denied PG&E's permit and shut down the proposed project.
Read the full story at Indy Bay Media>>
NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.
The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.Read more...
The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:
The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.Read more...