Access to marine fishing is in danger

There is a new threat to sportfishing in the United States—the banning of recreational fishing in coastal waters as a means to manage fish populations.

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) were originally intended to restrict the serious impacts of commercial fishing on a few species. But, MPAs have been expanded to now include restricting low impact recreational fishing on all species. The establishment of MPAs is leading increasingly to the creation of no-fishing zones, which result in significant permanent closures for recreational saltwater fishing.

This is possibly one of the most significant threats to the future of sportfishing. Banning sportfishing is an unprecedented step and runs counter to the proven methods of fisheries conservation management that have served recreational anglers well for decades.

The MPA precedent for widespread North American recreational fishing closures has its origins in California coastal waters under state jurisdiction, extending to the three mile limit... more

What is the California Marine Life Protection Act?

Information You Need to Know

In 1999 California passed the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA). This state legislation is designed to “sustain, conserve and protect” that state's marine resources through a series of designations called Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), including no-fishing areas called Marine Reserves, which extend three miles from shore.

There are three types of MPAs that can be established under the MLPA:

• State Marine Reserves, which prohibit recreational fishing and all other forms of recreational and commercial “extraction”. The area is to be maintained as an undisturbed state as much as possible, so access like boating or diving may be prohibited as well.

• State Marine Parks, which places limits on recreational fishing and bans commercial fishing.

• State Marine Conservation Areas, in which only certain activities that compromise the integrity of the area might be limited.
The state began implementation, but the effort stalled due to the lack of financial ... more