Fishermen file lawsuit over MLPA

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A number of member organizations of the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans filed a lawsuit challenging closures of certain fishing areas under the California Fish and Game Commission’s Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Jan. 27 in San Diego County, Kayak Angler Online reports. One area of dispute is the area surrounding Point Dume.

The United Anglers of Southern California, Coastside Fishing Club and Robert C. Fletcher filed the lawsuit, claiming the MLPA violates the California Environmental Quality Act and that the Fish and Game Commission does not have the authority to impose such regulations.

“From the outset, it was clear that the MLPA process was set up to reach a predetermined outcome under the fiction of an allegedly open and transparent process,” former president of the Sportfishing Association of California, Bob Fletcher, said.

“Ignoring the information before them, the commission went forward with approving regulations to close 116 square miles of Southern California’s coastal waters to recreational fishing.”

Some of the MLPA Marine Protected Area regulations may go into effect this spring, before the lawsuit reaches the courts.