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Karen Garrison’s Blog

Marine Protected Areas hold promise for better fishing and economic boost

Karen Garrison

Posted August 31, 2010 in Reviving the World's Oceans, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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Among the spate of recent setbacks for America’s seas and the fishermen who make a living on them, at least one ongoing effort provides a glimmer of hope: California’s implementation of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), a law calling for establishment of a statewide network of marine protected areas. California has now created protected areas around the Channel Islands and along the central coast from Mendocino County to Santa Barbara County.  The designation process is underway in waters off the south and north coasts. Evidence already shows that areas protected consistent with this law can benefit fishermen as well as protect ocean biodiversity and productivity.

Southern California Coast,  Dave Durham, by-nc-nd.jpg
Photo Courtesy of Dave Durham

Like national parks and refuges on land, marine protected areas are science-based safe havens where wildlife can rebuild and thrive. Over the past decade, a litany of scientific studies has shown that marine protected areas around the world benefit sea life and habitats. For example, recent research shows that in no-take marine reserves around California’s Channel Islands, fish are significantly bigger and more plentiful and kelp is healthier, just five years after creation of those reserves.

Healthier ocean systems draw divers, tide-poolers, wildlife watchers, and other ocean lovers to the coast. And as fish get bigger in a protected area, productivity can increase exponentially relative to fished areas, seeding those surrounding areas with larvae and fish. Steve Gaines, Dean of the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara, summed up recent findings: “there is plenty of new evidence to show that if reserves are designed well, they can benefit both fish and fishermen.

At the same time, evidence refutes the concern that marine protected areas will hurt fishing industry bottom lines. Despite sport fishing industry predictions that a network of marine reserves around the northern Channel Islands would cause $50 to $100 million dollars in economic losses, scientific monitoring has shown that sport fishing actually increased in the five years after reserves were established, as did commercial landings of squid, sea urchin, and lobster. Marine reserves elsewhere have shown similar results: in the Great Barrier Reef, despite fishing industry concerns about losses, the number of recreational fishing licenses has continued its upward trend since the reserves were established in 2003.

As a conservation group, NRDC has a fundamental common interest with fishermen:  we want bigger, healthier and more plentiful fish in our seas. We all benefit from good ocean management and investments in the long-term health of marine ecosystems. And we all suffer when ocean management doesn’t make the grade.

Marine protected areas are a vital complement to fishery management, helping maintain the diverse web of life and bolstering resilience of ocean systems in the face of a wide range of threats, including global climate change. They protect fragile nursery habitats and vulnerable species. For a state that has experienced a collapse of all five commercial abalone fisheries, sharp declines in sand bass, kelp bass and other sport-caught fish, extensive loss of kelp on the south coast and a rockfish disaster, they are a smart hedge against the next crisis.

Underwater fish
Photo courtesy of Clinton Bauder

For all these reasons, NRDC is a strong supporter of the inclusive, science-based MLPA initiative in California. We take issue with efforts of some in the sport fishing industry, including Shimano, a manufacturer of fishing gear and bike parts, to suspend that process—a call at odds with the company’s stated commitment to science based conservation. Over a year ago, we reached out to Shimano directly to discuss the MLPA and the benefits of protected areas. Recently the company accepted that request, and we look forward to the opportunity for constructive dialogue. We value our collaborative relationship with fishermen on a host of initiatives, from salmon and river restoration to fighting for clean water. NRDC has not initiated, nor is it conducting a boycott against Shimano or any other opponent of the MLPA process.

Proactive steps now to safeguard ocean life and habitats will help save us the bigger, costlier adjustments that come from poor ocean management. The MLPA gives Californians a unique opportunity to ensure ocean vitality over the long term, and NRDC enthusiastically supports this forward-looking effort.

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Comments

Jennifer Heibult SawchukAug 31 2010 11:00 PM

Congratulations and thank you for your work, Karen. Great post...watching from Seattle...

Scott ParkerAug 31 2010 11:53 PM

I have issue with this post, primarily because it misstates the main issues that most recreational and commercial fishermen, as well as the recreational fishing equipment manufacturers have with MLPA implementation.

While certain industry organizations may be screaming at any and all concept of MLPA implementaton most involved in the industry and sport actually SUPPORT responsible fact based implementation of conservation efforts. What seems to be so drastically overlooked in all of these issues is the FACT that the MLPA process is being used as a political tool based on pseudo-science rather than factual studies. The fact that someone like Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President and Chief Operating of the Western States Petroleum Association, could be appointed as the chair of the MLPA task force makes it difficult to believe that biased and fact based implementation of any MLPA initiative could be a possibility. Look at the Gulf right now, and the care that the oil industry places on anything other than maximum generation of profit. Individuals with any connections to this industry can not claim to be objective or free from any conflict of interest.

The MLPAs are laughingly called Marine Life Poaching Areas now because with the current dearth of DFG officers and manpower in California it is only law abiding fishermen who feel the impact of being denied to favorite, in some cases approaching sacred, fishing spots.

I could go on, but the crux of this comment is that I feel it is most unfair to paint any who oppose the MLPA process as it currently exists as not being concerned about our fisheries. The issues most have with the MLPA process is not the idea behind it, but rather that those running it are not trustworthy, are not reputable and unbiased scientists, and do not take into account any of the other, tremendously negative factors that impact our fisheries. None of the opposition to the MLPA from rational organizations and responsible manufacturers unilaterally opposes the concept. Only the method in which the process is being implemented.

As an aside, I would love to see a study on the change in the general economic status of different types of recreational anglers now. I am interested to see if angling is still a viabale recreational pasttime for all, or if it is trending towards being an activitiy only available to the financially elite.

Jeff CrumleySep 1 2010 12:59 AM

That is a very good start, Scott, let me take this a bit further.
I am learning that it is not the enviro movement but the hitch-hikers and highjackers that use it as a vehicle to extort and terrorize the ignorant. The only way to liberate environmentalism is to remove the terrorists by exposing their "misinformation."
There is a lot of $ in environmentalism.
As stated in scientific papers, there are three main effects on the marine ecosystem. 1. Water Quality ( we used to call this pollution). 2. Marine Mammal Take ( the MMPA has done a very good job, one species, California sea lions are now thought to be above historic numbers. There are probably more California sea lions now than 500 years ago).
3. Human take (In 1995, DFG estimated the California sea lion population at 186,000 and consumption at 500,000 tons (1.billion lbs.) annually of squid, salmon, anchovy, rockfish and flatfish. Commercial fishing for these species in 1995 totaled 281.million pounds or 28% of California sea lion consumption).
Yet, the MLPA does not address these other issues. POLLUTION being the worst!!!, it only targets humans use fisheries). There is a movement underway that is bringing the truth and exposing these extreme idealists and the Big Green Monster that is making them rich off the dollars you donate and are now threatening other species existence with their theoretical experiments on the peoples public property.
It's an orgy of marine science bidding for billions in grants and big oil getting the fishermen out of the way. Fishermen are the biggest obstacle to offshore oil.

Jeff CrumleySep 1 2010 02:08 AM

Oh, I am not leaving this one alone. I just went to the hyperlink("fish are significantly bigger and more plentiful"). This author is spinning the truth so bad, she must be permanently spunununun.
I am a California Urchin Diver and I will tell you the truth!!!
The Cal. urchin industry started in 1979-71. Before this the Navy would pour quick lime in the ocean to kill urchins that were killing kelp; or they would pay diving clubs to smash them with hammers.
Now that urchin harvest has done a tremendous job of controlling the echinoderm, kelp beds are healing. 20 years ago the urchin divers, themselves, for-saw the need to reduce the fisheries impact. A self imposed reduction in divers brought the number from 700 divers to now, 300. The quality of roe has improved due to selective harvest by divers. Less competition, less stress, higher $ for better quality. They are trying to claim it is due to protected areas? LIARS!!
You want to see the truth? Go see this...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eikd_pBfz8k
If you know how to dive...I'll show you the truth...If you don't...we can teach you in about 20 min.
Underwater parks,Huh? More like billion dollar laboratories.

Allen SansanoSep 1 2010 09:21 AM

Did you even read some of the links referenced?

The one that links from "fish are significantly bigger and more plentiful is at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/channel_islands/pdfs/fiveyears_summary.pdf

"The number of boats seen at the Channel Islands has stayed approximately the same, but the boats go to different places. Fishing boats no longer go to the now-protected areas, while more sailboats are observed in those areas. Since MPAs were established, some commercial fisheries (rock crab, spiny lobster, market squid, and red urchin) have grown in value at the Channel Islands, while others (sea cucumber, California sheephead, and rockfish) have declined. Many of these changes also occurred throughout southern California, SUGGESTING THAT THE CAUSES ARE DUE TO SOMETHING OTHER THAN MPAs."

The link from "sportfishing actually increased" is at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/channel_islands/pdfs/handout_ryan.pdf

"Has the number of fish caught by commercial passenger fishing vessels (CPFV) in the northern Channel Islands changed since MPAs were established?

There are no consistent trends in recreational catch since the implementation of MPAs. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT MPAs WERE DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR LOSSES OR GAINS IN CATCH. CHANGES IN FISHING REGULATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS LIKELY PLAYED ROLES IN CHANGES IN RECREATIONAL CATCH."

In fact, the MLPA SAT states in http://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentVersionID=31794 that "Assumptions about fishery management outside MPAs influenced the outcomes more than differences between proposed External MPA Arrays" That's right, fisheries management has a greater effect on biomass and fisheries yield than any MPA's do!!!

LOS KIMSep 1 2010 01:00 PM

In this conversation everyone is right. It takes a combination of: awareness through the creation of zones in the ocean that are deemed "special" through status as MPAs; modifications in fishing techniques, both wihin (when allowed) and outside the protected areas; reductions in pollution from both marine and terrestrial sources; and, it takes time. It is also true that MPAs, when created without fisheries management and water quality measures being put in place, are not successful. Most existing MPAs in Canada, for example, do not exclude fishing! Only by working from multiple fronts through integrated management can our marine spaces be restored, which is why processes that involve all the stakeholders and that listens to all of their advice are the ones that are most likely to work. We have just started one in Canada called PNCIMA. I hope it works!

John HavemannSep 1 2010 01:34 PM

To reiterate what others have pointed out about the post:

The reported claims and the subsequent inclusion of URL links to support them are seriously flawed. The claims and their references do not match. It is not OK to call something an apple when it is an orange.

Please stick to verifiable facts and impartial, documented, proven science.

Nicole LampeSep 1 2010 02:02 PM

There is ample scientific evidence that shows marine protected areas work to produce more and bigger fish and boost fishing profits as well. The National Academy of Sciences ran a whole special issue in their journal in February (you can find it at www.pnas.org/) or see an overview of marine reserves science at www.pisco.org), and studies conducted around the world have found benefits to fish and fisheries.

I applaud NRDC for safeguarding our state and country's ocean health for my kids and grandkids!

James BoyceSep 1 2010 02:03 PM

How can you possibly argue that created marine sanctuaries hasn't been proven to help restore marine life? MLPA have been a tremendous success and are very much needed to restore our oceans. Seems to me NRDC is doing everything right here, even reaching out to those that have opposed MLPAs and starting a conversation. It strikes me as odd the rage against their efforts and MLPA - we need to protect our oceans for now and for future generations, this is a great start

Matt OwingsSep 1 2010 02:21 PM

@Scott - clearly you should start hanging out with Oliver Stone with all of these "conspiracy theories" dancing like sugar plum fairies in your head. BTW just for all of you land lovers - who seems to be mis-informed on many levels the acronym "MLPA" is an abbreviation for the LAW - the Marine Life Protection Act. the designated areas are called "MPAs" for short - not mlpas.

So let's try to refrain from promulgating misinformation at even the base level.

@Jeff and let's not make this a fantastical - or hysterical - tale of Cathy Reheis-Boyd's world domination - which is just a joke. no other organization has done more to protect California's coast than the NRDC ( with perhaps the exception of Richard Charter who has been a lion to fend off off-shore drilling.) bringing this up is a distraction and a tactic that people who don't want to address the real problem always do.

first, and foremost let's remember that the Marine Life Protection Act is one law, and one tool in what needs to be a multi-disciplined approach to address the MANY issues we are facing - that our oceans are facing.

you guys can bellyache all day long about "how right" you are and how "big green" is ruining your life - but that will really never amount to anything other than a whiny level of incessant complaining that gets us nowhere - except me wanting an aspirin to stop the headache it is causing.

if you want to stop pollution - then call you state senator and ask them to ban plastic bags, get out of your tuck and ride your bike down here to cencal and show me your dedication (which by the way will directly take all those gasoline profits out of Cathy's pocket and will serve you doubly well - that is if you are really serious which i tend to think you are not...)

and if we are going to credit anything from keeping an ecosystem in harmony - let's not forget that the favorite food morsel of sea stars are urchin - they are doing most of the heavy lifting.

i wish people would get serious and recognize that we as humans - we as uni eating/fish catching/pollution causing/water loving humans need to be focused on solutions - and that we need lots of solutions, not just one to fix everything. until people recognize that Marine Protected Areas and other "401-K" like buffers that offer a chance for HABITAT and fish and animals to maintain and replenish productivity - until that happens - you can keep kidding yourselves and keep blaming everyone else.

let's get serious about protecting the ocean we all love folks - calling people names or disrespectfully calling educated and respected leaders "liars" - is not only amateur it does nothing to help the problem.

Nathan HaveySep 1 2010 03:18 PM

This is an unusually contentious post for this blog, so I thought I'd weigh in too.

Scott - You make an important point. You do too Jeff, but then I think you may have accused the author of spinning a bit prematurely. You and Allen took issue with the same reference, and I agree that the paragraph you site (Allen) doesn't support the authors assertion, but the one above it does. When she asserts that "Fish are significantly bigger and more plentiful" she got that from the paragraph in the document to which she links that states:

"Many species of fish and invertebrates targeted by fishing outside reserves are bigger and more abundant inside no-take reserves, while non-targeted species’ abundances are essentially equal. Marine reserves have greater biodiversity and greater fish biomass than fished areas nearby. Studies of fish movement suggest that even wide-ranging species can benefit from the Channel Islands reserves and that some individuals move from reserves to fished areas. These results show that the Channel Islands reserves and other protected areas may contribute to the goals of protecting and promoting healthy ecosystems. "

That is pretty clear.

Then you attack her claim that sportfishing increased, quoting a stat the the catch decreased. You are right about the catch decreasing, but the author is talking about sportfishing. While she doesn't expressly state that she is not talking about 'catch' I took her claim to pertain to number of people taking trips to fish - and sure enough, the document shows a slight increase in such trips since 2003, exactly as the author asserts.

John - I'm guessing that you didn't look into the claims of misrepresentation that Allen and Jeff made - but as I hope is now clear - they were the result of misunderstanding nuance, and the author's claims - and her support for them, are indeed based on verifiable facts and impartial, documented, proven science - to the extent that anything in science of this kind can be 'proven'.

But allow me to reassert that I agree with all of your substantive points regarding external factors (pollution, self management by the fishing community etc.) and I think Los Kim did are great join in presenting the point that I think we all understand that there are a mix of factors at work here, and that we are all committed to ensuring that healthy oceans are preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Thanks to NRDC for all of their work!

francesca koeSep 1 2010 05:23 PM

i applaud everyone who cares enough to get involved, and perhaps more importantly to get educated and familiar with the many moving parts - of which there are many in this public process. it's important, so we can make smart choices moving forward. i also think it's important to give credence to the many points of view this kind of visionary policy evokes (sometimes provokes.)

i know first-hand how complicated and exhausting, simply participating in the dialogue and process can be - i affectionately refer to my time on the north central coast RSG as my "years of making sausage!" :)

call me corny, but i can't help but point out what i consider to be an amazing feat and positive testament to the inclusivity of the MLPA and the dedication of so many citizens in California: in the latest study region of the MLPA (up on the north coast) a 'first' for the whole process occurred just today in fact!
all of the stakeholders from the north coast (from diverse groups and wildly different factions), ALL unanimously approved and submitted one, single proposal to the BRTF (that's greek for Blue Ribbon Task Force for any of you uninitiated.)

you can read more about it here:

http://www.caloceans.org/news/north-coast-mlpa-stakeholders-produce-landmark-unified-plan

suffice it to say, the mere fact that people were able to agree on one, single proposal is nothing short of a miracle - and quite frankly i am impressed!
(we submitted about half-a-dozen when we did the north central coast...)

keep up the good work everybody. i'm confident we can make change and bolster our oceans, for the betterment of everyone.

Jeff CrumleySep 1 2010 06:10 PM

To: Matt Owings
Cool obsevation...But, it is only a post and paste rebuttal trying to minimize the significance of "need to be answered questions." You grossly underestimate my knowledge of fact and history. And, I have not "bellyached" about anyone ruining my life. What I have done, is to present facts.
Who do you work for? Are you possibly related to Margaret Owings? The famous founder of Friends of the Sea Otter.org. The one I have a newspaper article (San Jose Mercury newsNov. 21st 1993)...quoting her as saying "I hate to write scientific facts," she says. "But I like to use metaphors and let the mind work. I've often said, "Thank God I'm not a scientist' so I can do things more loosely."
I won't even get into the "Otter-gate" scandal and how it directly relates to MPA's.
But, let's look at existing MPA's. How about Pt. Lobos. It is a fifty year old protected area. I think it's the White / Kendall paper( off the top of my head, don't hold me to that it may be another) MPA's DO NOT hold a significant result over existing fisheries. I could look it up and give the exact paper and quote if you want to call me on that.
Then there is the #47- Stephens et al Rock fish Resources paper in which the lie about the decline of cod species and overfishing are exposed in all of their naked glory.
Again, come at me with real data...do not challenge me with propaganda and insults as means to take attention away from the facts. You either work for the environmental highjackers, or you are just a bit misguided in your information. My life is not being ruined, by the way...It is being enhanced in the closure coming here to Laguna; where, by adaptive management, we are working with science in restoration by controlling the urchins in kelp planting areas.
This bashing of fishermen is loosing it's steam. It is simply untrue here in California. We are proud conservators of our ocean and all species, not just the cute and fuzzy ones. Go read a book before you spew anymore transparent rhetoric.
Best regards...JC

Jeff CrumleySep 1 2010 06:17 PM

To: moderator
Hey guys, we are having a good and civil debate here...please let it roll as long as it is productive and with merit
thank you..Jeff

Agreed! Your comment's now published above. – Ian @ NRDC

Jeff CrumleySep 1 2010 06:32 PM

Well folks...seems my last post presenting a rebuttal to Matt has been removed.
Fair and balanced? I think not.

christopher chinSep 1 2010 07:22 PM

One doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to know that Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) work.

One doesn't even have to be a marine scientist, although this blog offers links to several sound findings and publications.

Rather, it's common sense.

If an area with productive habitat it protected, the species and system therein can flourish, and those economically important species can reproduce more prolifically, thereby assisting in the population enhancement and recruitment of surrounding areas.

When MPAs are created in a network fashion, as they are under California's Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), the network MPAs further enhance each other's effectiveness.

Even if people were to "fish the line" and pick off animals as they ventured out of the protected area, that embodies the very concept of sustainability. As long as the MPA is large enough and carefully placed so as to comprise productive habitat, the overflow is helping populate areas outside the MPA.

The science is sound, and for those of you reading this and other comments, I'd really recommend checking out some of those articles and papers if you haven't already. Moreover, I wholeheartedly encourage you to be more involved in the MLPA process. it's an open and transparent process, and the determination and selection of MPAs has been an intensely collaborative one based on input and testimony from a variety of stakeholders including commercial and recreational fishermen.

Some of us may drive a desk, some may drive a boat - but in the end we all want the same thing; we want there to be more fish. Marine Protected Areas help us all.

Jeff CrumleySep 1 2010 07:24 PM

This thread is a perfect example of my first post. I try to present a four point series of cited and factual data and it is censored.
If the moderator has not received and moderated my post, I do apologize. But, why did my post say it must be moderated?
I hope I am wrong and it will show up for all to see.
Respectfully..JC

Anthony DiGiuseppeSep 1 2010 07:35 PM

Matt Owens...this paragraph is just immature, please elevate your postings to the level that everyone else here is maintaining.


"if you want to stop pollution - then call you state senator and ask them to ban plastic bags, get out of your tuck and ride your bike down here to cencal and show me your dedication (which by the way will directly take all those gasoline profits out of Cathy's pocket and will serve you doubly well - that is if you are really serious which i tend to think you are not...)"

Jeff CrumleySep 1 2010 08:38 PM

Matt, you have no substance to your rhetoric. It is purely passion based ignorance. Seems we've hit a nerve, yeah?
I will be happy to debate you fact for fact.

read the vol. 47 Stephens et al, Rockfish Resources. It exposes the lie and creation of junk science and proves the decline of rock cod. NEVER HAPPENED!
Or, the White/ Kendall paper on the MPA at Pt. Lobos...a fifty year old FAILURE.

You have however, provided a perfect example of my previous posts.

Ian @ NRDCSep 1 2010 09:15 PM

Jeff — our blogging software's comment filter is sometimes a little overactive, and appears to have flagged your comment for moderation. Sincere apologies, and it's been published up above, with its original time-stamp.

We're delighted to see spirited debate take place here — by all means have at it, within the bounds of civility.

Chris GoldblattSep 1 2010 10:29 PM

I have spent the past 6 years diving the MLPA's in the Channels Islands and the fish inside the MPA are not any bigger or more plentiful- nothing can compensate for the fact that the MPAs cause overfishing in the open areas, create massive government wasteful spending on nonsense studies and divide the ocean community making it impossible to do unified conservation works in the future-
not to mention they are 100% uncsonstitutional-but I am sure Julie Packard and the Pews are busy using their money and politcal weight to re-right our CA constitution to meet thier personal needs for ego boosting and legacy building.

Allen SansanoSep 1 2010 11:00 PM

@Nathan: Why would there be any link between MPA's and sportfishing increasing? I actually pointed out that the quoted reference stated that "THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT MPAs WERE DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR LOSSES OR GAINS". If MPA's are not affecting the number of fish, why would they affect the number of fishermen? It's quite the leap of faith. The other quote said that the number of boats is about the same. In these lean times fishermen are inviting more friends to come along to split the costs. It has nothing to do with MPA's.

Or maybe I should point out that the number of fishing licenses has declines in this state since 2007, the year Cental Coast MPA's went into effect.

Yes, the my assertions are tenuous at best, but no worse than the authors assertions.

Jeff CrumleySep 1 2010 11:21 PM

Thank you Ian!! my compliments on making sure you have a fair and balanced forum. ;)

Jeff CrumleySep 2 2010 12:07 AM

To: Christopher Chin,
Hey Christopher...One of the biggest problems with the "implementations" of these MPAs is that it is a cookie-cutter, fast-track, hurry up and get it done before anyone can have ample time to research and provide a holistic adaptive management plan. The state does not even have enough $$ to patrol and enforce these closures. We fishermen are not new to MPAs. There are more current MPAs than you are prob. aware of.(state and federal).
We fishermen are not at all against protecting the ocean. In fact, if you look real close, for your self, you will see...it is publicly avail. to anyone, that this is true. The problem is, everybody wants to take the word of the "professionals."
I am an environmentalist and strict conservationist and I'm angry at the blatant, obvious highjacking of what I consider a righteous and sacred movement. The environmental movement!! Those of us that know this subject, as good as most marine biologists, are only trying to stop the rape of science and empirical data. Like you say...common sense!
regards, Jeff

Allen SansanoSep 2 2010 01:07 AM

Here in CA, fisheries stocks are managed to Maximum SUSTAINABLE Yield (MSY) levels. It doesn't matter if you implement MPA's or not, the harvest will keep the biomass regulated to that target MSY level. MPA's, therefore, can NOT increase this biomass. What they do is charge the distribution of biomass.

Here's a simple example for you. Let's say the Pacific Fishery Management Council set the target MSY biomass of fish XYZ to 1,000,000. Before there were MPA's those 1,000,000 fish lived in the open ocean. After the MPA's 800,000 of those fish live in the open ocean with the other 200,000 fish living in the closed ocean. We still harvest the fish to maintain the 1,000,000 fish level. So how would MPA's increase the number of fish? They can't because they don't decrease overall harvest. They only decrease harvest in a particular region, with effort shift to the open ocean causing an increase harvest in the open ocean.

MPA's work in regions of the world which have little fisheries management. In fact, they are just another form of fisheries management. They do afford protection to the fisheries that would otherwise not get that protection. That is not the case in CA.

Jeff CrumleySep 2 2010 01:54 AM

Exactly Allen!!
What also concerns us is the forthcoming MPAs target 30 year old, careful selective harvest urchin grounds. The harvest has prevented "urchin barrens" from eliminating giant kelp beds. These are the same kelp beds that are needed for the "undersea parks."(mpa's). How long do you suppose it will take for the urchins to remove the kelp beds?
Well, they will just say...Let's bring in some otters and they will eat the urchins, right? Right! But, the otters will eat the abalone to extinction and the pismo clams too. Don't forget, what otters are left will either die of starvation or of human source, land based pollutants containing lethal doses of viruses and carcinogens.
I'm glad someone could articulate an accurate point of view. California is the model of conservation for the entire world and it has always been balanced science. Now it is political idealism.

Jeff CrumleySep 2 2010 02:19 PM

I'd like to correct myself on some data that I presented off the top of my head...
1.It was CDFG that poured lime in the ocean
2. CDFG biologist, Dan Miller on the Pt. Lobos MPA.
3. Before the passage of the MLPA, there was 104 mpa's.( reserves, preserves and sanctuaries) in California.(McArdle 1997).
JC

Scott ParkerSep 2 2010 03:12 PM

I really don't see where I was promoting conspiracy theory... and I still hold by my opinion that it is impossible for someone deeply involved with the oil industry, that is as an executive, to maintain the unbiased and objective perspective it is necessary to evaluate any kind of data. I wouldn't expect commercial fishing interests to be much better. It's not conspiracy. It's just business.

I do have to acknowledge, however, that my anecdote about the MLPA's common nickname was unclear. The MLPA is the statute which mandates the creation of the MPA regions. It does not change the fact, however, that creating these richly biodiverse areas without sufficient staff for enforcement, simply means that those with no regard for the environment or law have areas to go in which they are guaranteed better catches... in essence an excellent map for poachers.

The MLPA process should be managed by science and fact. It should be guided by objectivity and the best available data. There should be no hidden agenda, and emotion should not play no part in the process. The goal is to enhance and protect the ocean biosystem, and ALL of the factors impacting the issue need to be addressed, not just the effect of commercial and recreational fishing.

Jeff CrumleySep 2 2010 06:59 PM

I'll promote a conspiracy theory for you Scott!!
How about the one between Sea Shephard & Greenpeace? Have you ever heard of Magnus Gudmundsson? He is an Icelandic film maker. Greenpeace is trying to sue him, to keep from the public, a video of Greenpeace paying a Argentine fisherman to slaughter dolphins for a propaganda film. The Greenpeace film crew can be heard telling the fisherman to "cut deeper!...More blood!" They did the same thing with fur seal pups!!!
Not many people know of this stuff.
Tom Watson does...why did the founders of Greenpeace part ways? Yet, Sea Shepherd sails under a Dutch flag. At a Dutch owned island in the north Atlantic, they have an annual slaughter of dolphins and Pilot Whales.
There are plenty of proven conspiracies out there...NEVER let anyone tell you to just sit back and be quiet("we'll handle it"). If there is smoke...THERE IS FIRE!

Chris GoldblattSep 2 2010 07:34 PM

Has anybody noticed that the Discovery channel gun man did what he did because he felt Discovey was no doing enough to " stop the killing of the squirrels, trees, birds and fish"- this is the end game for overselling the eco message to young people and that includes indoctrinating ten year olds to be "junior federal rangers'-or nay other 'pledge' to help the environment--if one guy felt this way, then there are many more right on the verge -the enviros have managed to brain wash people to the point of becoming violent-
problem is the enviros like Julie Packard, the Pews, Greenpeace etc are so clever and so well spoken that people do not even realize they are brain washed-unitl it is too late.

John MellorSep 5 2010 12:01 PM

Hi Karen. Seems like a case of the naturalistic fallacy, an "ought" masquerading as an "is". People who rely on the ocean in California bear the brunt, in various degrees, of these policies and for some of us it's difficult to see what benefit if any these "underwater parks" will have to our livelyhoods or to recreational or spiritual experiences in our lifetimes or even future generations. remember, national parks gave rise to corporate agriculture which has created monoculture - government subsidized crops like corn and soybeans which sustain unhealthy and arguably less intelligent populations. The commercial fishing industry is on the brink of extinction not because of overfishing but because of politics. The willful destruction of a culture is a very serious thing.
And please remember, we aren't ignorant children.

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