My good friend and former colleague Don Cruiser and I have different opinions on the California Marine Life Protection Act of 1999. I previously stated in the Community Forum the reasons I support the MLPA. In response to Don’s article in last week’s paper, the MLPA, as created by the legislature, was never intended to be exclusively a fisheries management tool. It is a whole eco-system approach to marine conservation that addresses all aspects of marine ecology through methods based upon the most readily available science.
Similar to land-based conservation such as wilderness areas, conservation easements, and open space preserves, ocean conservation places a few carefully selected, biologically important marine areas off-limits to certain activities. It is certainly not an effort to close all access to fishing and/or recreation on an entire coastline.
Today we are witnessing several on-going ocean tragedies. These horrific scenarios make me believe that more not less ocean protection is necessary. That is why I am serving as a regional stakeholder for the North Coast in the MLPA process.
As we work to address both community concerns and meet the science requirements of the MLPA, I have attempted to bring local knowledge into this process. It is my hope that together we can find the solution that has benefits for both humans and aquatic ecosystems.