Legislation to Encourage Innovative Fishing Management Passes Senate Committee
SACRAMENTO – On Tuesday, June 26, a measure to facilitate innovation and sustainability in commercial fishing passed the Senate Natural Resources Committee on a 9-0 vote. AB 1573, authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), authorizes the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to establish a state Exempted Fishing Permit program, which 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.
“In order for California to build “climate-ready” fisheries, we must test and integrate new, cost-effective science and management tools; and incentivize and leverage currently underutilized academic and private-sector contributions toward improving fishing management,” said Assemblymember Bloom.
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. However, a large majority of the fisheries in California’s state waters have never been scientifically assessed or managed under approved 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. These management shortcomings represent an even greater threat to ocean health in the face of climate driven changes – including ocean acidification, changing temperatures, and altered ocean currents – which are already impacting fisheries in dynamic and complex ways.
“AB 1573 will give anglers and researchers the flexibility they need to test and integrate new cost-effective science and management tools while protecting ocean ecosystems,” said Bloom.
AB 1573 is sponsored by The Nature Conservancy and supported by the Environmental Defense Fund. The bill now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committees.
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.