May 2008

Partnership For Sustainable Oceans Announces Support
For Conservation-Based Proposal To Protect California’s Coastline

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Conserving marine resources while minimizing unnecessary closures to recreational fishing, ensuring that sustainable recreational activities will be available to the public now and into the future, is the ultimate goal California’s leading marine-conservation partnership.

The Partnership for Sustainable Oceans (PSO) today announced its support for a North Central Coast marine-protected area proposal that holds conservation as its highest priority while maintaining quality recreational opportunity and protecting the economic output of ocean related recreation within the area’s coastal communities.

The conservation-based Proposal 2-XA is the Partnership’s preferred Marine Life Protection Act alternative for the North Central Coast now before the Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF). The PSO hails the proposal as a model for the future success of the MLPA process and encourages all California anglers and boaters to support Proposal 2-XA.

"The Partnership has been actively and constructively involved with the development of Proposal 2-XA. The principal goal of our continued involvement is to ensure the protection of California's ocean health while preventing unnecessary closures to recreational fishing and boating.

“Proposal 2-XA balances the requirements of the MLPA with the needs of public user groups while meeting the conservation requirements of the MLPA guidelines,” said PSO member representative Bob Franko, chairman of Coastside Fishing Club in Pacifica, Calif.

BRTF members were to have voted on three alternative proposals and forwarded one to the California Fish and Game Commission as the “preferred alternative.”

An important component of the overall design of Proposal 2-XA is the establishment of a well-defined network of State Marine Reserves, strategically located in core areas of the North Central Coast Study Region. Adjacent State Marine Conservation Areas (SCMA) are incorporated to buffer and create a proper reserve network. SMCAs allow for fishing of certain species, such as Chinook salmon and Dungeness crab, while providing additional protection to marine ecosystems.  

While ecosystem conservation is the top priority of Proposal 2-XA, its contributors carefully deliberated the potentially serious socioeconomic consequences associated with fishery closures when developing the proposal. To that end, the design of Proposal 2-XA strikes a balance between the conservation benefit and socioeconomic impact across numerous fisheries, both commercial and recreational.

PSO members include the American Sportfishing Association, Coastside Fishing Club, Southern California Marine Association, Sportfishing Association of California, United Anglers of Southern California, National Marine Manufacturers Association and Northern California Kayak Anglers.

For frequent updates about the Partnership's advocacy on behalf of recreational fishermen within the MLPA process, download a copy of Proposal 2-XA and obtain contact information to write, e-mail or fax the BRTF members with your point of view, please visit