California’s Fish and Game Commission is set to revisit a controversial proposal Wednesday morning that one fishing organization claims would work to prohibit fishing in the state’s Marine Protected Areas.
The proposal would prolong how often the commission will formally consider modifying restrictions, such as fishing bans, in the state’s Marine Protection Areas from every five years to every ten years of monitoring.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife Marine Region Habitat Conservation Program Manager Becky Ota said the change is being proposed because five years of monitoring “is not long enough to really be able to say whether a population or species has bounced back from anything.”
“Some researchers are saying it could take 20 years, depending on the factors,” she said. “To do a formal review every five years just does not make biological sense.”
The change is set to be implemented in the department’s “Master Plan for Marine Life Protection Act,” which will serve as a framework for how the system of state protected waters will be managed and monitored.