February 8, 2009
The attached petition was signed during a short period of time. All but two of the signatures were obtained at Arena Cove. The two exceptions signed on at one’s home about five miles away. Arena Cove is the harbor and fishing port within the city of Point Arena where these fishermen make their local landings. All of these fishermen have a history of fishing out of Arena Cove, and plan to continue commercial fishing in the future. Of course, those who only fish for salmon did not fish last year due to the state-wide closure, but they expect to troll for salmon again when the Chinook stocks recover. This petition could not be more local. It’s the ultimate example of one group of “the people who actually fish and use the resource that need to step up” actually stepping up to be heard!
These 19 signatures include all of the local commercial fishermen except one salmon troller who is out of the state at this time. So it is important to note that while there are only 19 signatures it is 95% of the active local commercial fishermen with a history of fishing out of Arena Cove. Our local communities are small and so these fishermen make up a relatively large part of the local workforce. But just their impact directly on our economy, as important as that is in these times of hardship, should not be the only concern. Read the wording of the petition carefully. It is not a trivial thing that they all agreed to sign this. They really do understand the issues. They have more to lose than most if we cannot maintain a sustainable fishery. It is a major step for them to agree with the 2XA proposal for the right reasons and with the hope and expectation that you will respect their professional opinions and their rights to continue in their chosen lifestyles.
Thank you for your consideration,
Point Arena, Ca 95468
Point Arena Commercial Fisherman Petition
We, the undersigned, are licensed commercial fishermen who have earned income working out of the Port of Arena Cove and along the nearby coastline. We take pride in being active participants in sustainable fisheries that provide a significant economic support for our local communities. We are also proud of our marine heritage and the traditions of making an honorable living by supplying high quality seafood for those who do not have the ability to harvest their own seafood. We have enjoyed a working relationship with the City of Point Arena, which has maintained a working pier and harbor facility since 1986. We understand and acknowledge that our landing fees are the principal income necessary for the continued use of the Pier and Harbor facilities which are public and made available equally to all people. We also understand, appreciate, and enjoy our additional role in the community of providing a close up view of the lifestyle and culture of fishermen that is a colorful attraction for the general public’s enjoyment and an added attraction for tourism.
In order to maintain our current levels of sustainable harvest while maintaining a reasonable level of safety and the lowest possible carbon footprint and lowest level of other forms of polution, we ask only that the number and size of MPAs near the Port of Arena Cove be kept at a manageable minimum. The IPA, as it is currently proposed, is excessively severe in its size, species restrictions, and proximity to our port. We all agree that the alternative proposal named 2XA would satisfy all of the governmental and scientific requirements of the MLPA while allowing us to continue as we have in well managed, sustainable fisheries. Therefore, we are taking this opportunity to ask you, the California Fish and Game Commissioners, to act in our best interests, the best interests of our local communities, and the best interests of the citizens of California as a whole, by adopting the local MPAs as described in Proposal 2XA.
Thank you for your consideration.