Governor Brown Gives Experimental Fishing Program the Green Light
SACRAMENTO – Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1573, opening the doors to more innovation and sustainability in the commercial fishing industry. The measure, introduced by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), 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 1573 is a win for researchers, for the commercial fishing industry, and for the environment,” said Assemblymember Bloom. “Our ocean habitats are precious resources that provide environmental, economic, and recreational benefits. Unfortunately, our current management practices are not doing enough to protect these habitats in the face of climate change. Introducing more innovation into commercial fishing will better protect the environment while also benefitting struggling anglers.”
California’s Marine Life Management Act is one of the most comprehensive and progressive state fishery management laws in the country. Despite its ambitious agenda, however, many of the fisheries in state waters have not been assessed or managed under fishery management plans due to capacity constraints. As a result, existing state laws and regulations have had the unintended effect of limiting the testing and deployment of new management approaches and research. These management shortcomings threaten not just the fishing industry but also ocean health, which is already being affected by climate change.
AB 1573 provides a path for innovation and research in the existing management system by allowing select actors to receive exemptions from portions of the current legal and regulatory framework.
“Our oceans are facing new and evolving threats, ranging from plastic pollution to climate driven changes such as ocean acidification and rising temperatures. We can’t afford to simply do things how they’ve always been done. AB 1573 will give industry and scientific partners the opportunity to innovate and better protect our ocean ecosystems and the industries they support.”
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.