SACRAMENTO – A measure to facilitate innovation and sustainability in commercial fishing passed the California State Assembly late last night. AB 1228, authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom, authorizes the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to implement an Exempted Fishing Permit program. The program would allow anglers and collaborative research partners to obtain limited exemptions from state fishing laws and regulations in order to pursue fishery-related research and experimentation.
“AB 1228 will make it easier to conduct scientific research and conservation engineering,” said Assemblymember Bloom. “Our ocean habitats are precious resources that provide environmental, economic, and recreational benefits. Existing law limits the fishing industry’s ability to protect these resources in an innovative, flexible, and cost effective way. Innovation will help us protect the environment while helping struggling anglers and moderating consumer prices.”
As a leader on conservation and environmental policy, California has one of the most comprehensive and progressive state fishery management laws in the country: the Marine Life Management Act. Unfortunately, many of the fisheries in state waters have not been assessed or managed under fishery management plans due to capacity constraints.
While existing state laws and regulations are designed to protect the Pacific Ocean and its rich marine resources, they have had the unintended effect of limiting anglers and academic researchers’ ability to test new management approaches and conduct fishery-related scientific research. AB 1228 will give anglers and researchers the flexibility they need to test and integrate new cost-effective science and management tools while protecting ocean ecosystems.
“Effective and sustainable practices in state fishery management are more important than ever as we face increasing threats to ocean health from climate driven changes including ocean acidification, changing temperatures, and altered ocean currents,” said Assemblymember Bloom. “AB 1228 will allow us to better respond to these threats.”
AB 1228 now heads to the Governor for signature.
Richard Bloom represents California’s 50th Assembly District, which comprises the communities of Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga, West Hollywood, and West Los Angeles.