Guy Harvey Magazine

SUM 2013

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 26 of 83

To digress slightly, it's vital to the MPA discussion to clear up a widespread misunderstanding: not all MPAs are No Take Zones (NTZs). That's a completely false misconception. In the United States, we currently have 223 marine reserves (the ofcial term for NTZs). These reserves cover 381,969 square kilometers, or 3.1% of U.S. waters, and 8% of the overall MPAs. That means 92% of MPAs in the U.S. allow fshing and recreation. Therefore, just because an area has an MPA designation doesn't mean you can't fsh there. In California, for example, where MPAs run the entire length of the state's 840-mile coast, there are myriad defnitions. The state is one of the few that sometimes delineates between commercial and recreational fshermen. "A state marine park allows recreational harvest, but not commercial," said Kaitlin Gafney, Pacifc program director for the Ocean Conservancy. "A state Marine Conservation Area can be used in diferent ways; it may protect bottom dwelling fsh like rock fsh, but allow salmon fshing." Even though NTZs are limited, they spill into some of the most coveted and expensive waterfront This illustration is part of the Ocean Conservancy's promotion of No Take Zones as the best form of marine protection. Recreational fshing groups claim that the science is not clear on NTZs and prefer management over closure. pollution and other sources." generated in excise taxes on fshing tackle and fuel property in California, such as Laguna Beach and Palos John Henigin, 11-year host of FishTalk Radio for boats. Estimates are that over the last half century, Verdes. That's tough luck for some high-end property and owner of Reel Fun Adventures in Santa Barbara anglers have contributed over $30 billion to resource owners. Or you could call it a violation of one's basic agrees. "Generally speaking, the [decision makers] management. So, fshermen argue, NTZs are biting right to fsh from their own property. were not anglers," says Henigin. "Marine biologists the hand that feeds conservation eforts. Laws that behind the process, they didn't get all that they should protect the resource from large scale fshing January of 2012 after a horrendously contentious California's statewide MPAs went into efect in wanted, but they got most of it. The impression from operations have also targeted recreational fshermen. 13-year battle and thousands upon thousands of the sports fshing community is that we got screwed, hours of meetings with commercial fshermen, and it wasn't a surprise." recreational fshermen, governmental groups and While most agree that it would be extremely "All you have to do is look at how many fshing conservation groups there are across the country to understand how committed anglers are to environmental organizations. In the end, some of the irresponsible not to manage the marine resource, conservation. But the people who write the laws recreational fshing groups felt slighted, especially in the rub comes when areas are designated No Take don't understand or want to recognize the diference Southern California, where almost 20 million people Zones and closed completely for all recreational in sportfshing and commercial fshing. It's a major share the resource and some of the most popular and fshing. NTZs carry a monstrous price for those who problem," said Bill Shedd, president of the American populated coasts were designated as NTZs. are most invested in the resource, namely recreational Fishing and Tackle Company (AFTCO) and longtime fshermen who—oh, by the way—have long funded recreational fshing advocate. "There was basically no listening to someone whose views were not popular," says Bob Osborn, marine conservation through license fees and sales former fshery consultant for United Anglers of taxes. The bottom line is this: recreational fshers not separate recreational and commercial fshers, Southern California, one of the groups involved in a are the funding backbone for fshery resource from an economic versus harvest point of view, lawsuit against the state. "I was responsible [for the management in the United States. the scales are even more unbalanced. According While many of the laws governing fshing do idea] that a light recreational footprint could achieve In 2009, fshing license fees contributed over to the American Sportfshing Association, there are the results. But they singled out fshermen as having $604 million to states, much of which is earmarked for 13 million saltwater anglers in the U.S. generating an impact, when clearly there was impact from marine conservation. And more than $700 million was 533,000 jobs and contributing $82.2 billion to the

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