Comment 35474

By billocean (registered) - website | Posted November 15, 2009 at 09:34:57

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is charged with monitoring and managing the ocean and freshwater fisheries and game habitats. With respect to our Oceans, they're not doing their job......................! Actually, they're not even close to successfully managing the offshore fisheries along our 1000 plus miles of California Coastline. The only accomplishment the DFG can celebrate is over- selling commercial and sport-fishing permits, writing citations for fishing without a license and in doing this, ensuring their paychecks. * As for monitoring the Ocean fisheries first hand, during the 45 years I’ve fished the So-Cal waters I have yet to see a DFG patrol boat leave it’s slip, much less observed it on the open water. Managing a fishery isn't rocket science. The basic requirement is simply the application of common sense. Here's the situation we're facing and bear in mind, this is not fiction.. !

The DFG places limits (number of fish) and size restrictions on a Sport Fishermen's catch and 99% of (us) adhere to these restrictions because we care about the marine habitants. If one of us hooks a California Halibut that's less than 22" long we'll return it, and we will not take more than the legal limit of any species. However, there are no limits or size restrictions placed on Commercial Fishermen who target Halibut, which explains why you're likely to find cold cases with 8" or 12" Halibut in fish markets. It’s easy to see why our Ocean suffers an adverse situation. A sport boat with 30 guys takes approximate 3 pounds of fish per rod on a one-day trip and returns all undersized fish. A commercial boat, capable of boating a ton of fish, keeps everything. The state of our fishery is bleak and it's not the fault of sport fishermen, and Commercial guys are just trying to make a living. Yet the DGF continues to sell permits that allow access to miles of California fishing grounds that only occasionally show quality fish. I recently received a reply to my concerns from a member of NOAA and was told the necessary changes will not come about through legislation, because we already have Marine Protection Acts. True. Unfortunately these Acts don’t protect our Ocean from the DFG's practices. The marine environment will recover and the fish will proliferate if they are given a chance, and in nature, this equates to one thing. Time. We need to close areas, which is relatively easy for the DGF to do, and has done. The problem is monitoring those areas for poachers and intruders. This requires two things. One, the incentive – genuine concern - to create a positive effect and two, the equipment and manpower - which can only be made available through private funding, i.e. Investors. Recently the DGF website posted info regarding their acquisition of 4 new high-speed patrol boats. I'll ask, what effect will 4 boats, managed by the DFG have upon 100 plus miles of coastline? Maybe some, but they’d have to leave their moorings first.

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