National Fisherman


A new network of controversial "marine protected areas" went into effect on the North Coast from Point Arena to the Oregon border on December 19, completing the statewide network from the Oregon to the Mexican border created under the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative.

The completion of the network was accompanied by a flurry of press releases from the Department of Fish and Game (now Department of Fish and Wildlife), Natural Resources Agency and corporate environmental NGOs and "puff pieces" by the mainstream media regurgitating the agency news releases.

"We have completed the nation's first statewide coastal system of marine protected areas," claimed Cat Kuhlman, deputy secretary for oceans and coastal matters at the California Natural Resources Agency, in a release from the agency. "What this means for the future of California's oceans and the coming generations that will enjoy them, is thrilling."

While many reporters and editors in the corporate media faithfully repeated agency propaganda without doing any actual research, an LA Times puff piece entitled, "California's marine reserve network now complete," outdid them all in its failure to cover the controversy behind the MLPA Initiative.

The article claims "California officials today completed the largest network of undersea parks in the continental United States — 848 square miles of protected waters that reach from the Oregon state line to the Mexican border." (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-undersea-parks-20121219,0,4717471.story)

However, this article, as previous ones in the Times and other media outlets, fails to address any of the real, substantial criticisms of the MLPA Initiative process by grassroots environmentalists, Indian Tribe members, commercial fishermen, recreational anglers and advocates of democracy and transparency in government.

The reporter, Kenneth R. Weiss, portrays a false conflict of "fishermen versus environmentalists" over the MLPA Initiative when the real conflict is one of public policy between those that favor greenwashing and the privatization of conservation and those who oppose greenwashing and the privatization of conservation. The reporter fails to mention any of the "inconvenient truths" about the MLPA Initiative.

Read the full story at Bay Area Indymedia>>>

Inside the Industry

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.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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