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Fish and Game Commission approves North Coast MLPA
by David Gurney
Thursday Jun 7th, 2012 10:26 AM
But the MLPA is anything but comprehensive. Threats other than fishing were deliberately kept out of the discussion. And the "cutting edge process" was an insult to the democratic process, a dismal precursor to what American democracy will look like once it's overtly hired off and sold to private interests.
http://noyonews.net

Fish and Game Commission approves North Coast MLPA

by David Gurney

In the final chapter of a three-year saga, the California Fish and Game commission voted 3-0 to approve the Option 1 unified proposal recommended by North Coast MLPA "regional stakeholders." Although Yurok Tribal members are unhappy with restrictions that will still affect them under the new fishing and gathering closures, supporters of the MLPA were lauding themselves on their accomplishment, despite subjecting those willing to participate to a tortuous, long drawn-out privatized process, that was rife with contention, corruption and conflict of interest.

The Marine Life Protection Act "Initiative" will restrict fishing in Northern California waters that were already over-regulated to the point that subsistence fishing for a livelihood has long since been a thing of the past. Though it's convenient for corporate "environmentalists" to blame fishermen for the decline of fish stocks, the reality is that now we will have to come to grips with the true challenges facing the ocean today - climate change, acidification, pollution, and now radioactive contamination from nearshore nuclear power plants. Feeling good about throwing non-existent fishing interests off the waters of Northern California will not last for long.

Michael Sutton, the acting chair of the Commission, and a conflict-of-interest employee of the money that funded the privately financed MLPA, said "California can be proud not only of its new, comprehensive network of protection for the marine environment, but of the cutting-edge public process that made it happen."

But the MLPA is anything but comprehensive. Threats other than fishing were deliberately kept out of the discussion. And the "cutting edge process" was an insult to the democratic process, a dismal precursor to what American democracy will look like once it's overtly hired off and sold to private interests.

If there's anything more disgusting than watching beauractrats wax emotional and esoteric over their accomplishments in screwing fishermen and the public, I'm not quite sure what that is. But we had to listen to it, as Commissioner Richard Rogers moved himself to tears lauding himself and the accomplishments of the MLPA.

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Ironically, as proponents of the North Coast MLPA "Initiative" were congratulating each other outside the hall after their "victory," the next item on the agenda before the Fish and Game Commission was a proposal by P.G.&E. to conduct major seismic testing, just offshore from the Diablo nuclear power plant.

A 250-foot ship will be dragging an array of eighteen air cannons, each blasting 250 decibel explosions underwater to investigate the myriad of faults just offshore from the Diablo reactor. They will be doing this over a forty-day period in the coming year.

What this will do to whales, fish, and marine mammals has yet to be determined. They will undoubtably be transiting some "marine protected areas" off the south coast, but since the MLPA made no provisions for marine protection either from seismic surveys, or nuclear reactors, the maritime creatures will be on their own.

Diablo Canyon, and the leaking So-Cal San Onofre nuclear plant, which sits on the beach about 20 feet above sea-level, will make South Coast "marine protected areas" a moot point unless something is done soon to decommission them. Discussion of protecting the coast from nuclear power was not allowed during the "cutting edge" process of hanging no fishing signs along the California coast.

Unlike the truly brave citizens of Vermont, who are actively demanding the shutdown of their antiquated Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, the California's ocean deniers have yet to even mention the threat - to their new "underwater parks" - if and when the inevitable earthquake and tsunami hits our coast.

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