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The Harbor Column -- Mike Whitehead

May 20, 2002

conservation and promoting habitat protection and restoration are the

four primary goals. Do not let the wording of the goals mislead you as

the underlying goal of the NFMP is to create marine protected areas based

on little scientific data. In other words, closing large sections of

offshore areas to all fishing activities that have the potential of

severely impacting recreational fishing.

The commission must adopt the plan by the Marine Life Management Act

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by Aug. 30, that was extended from its original date of Jan. 1. The

clock is ticking, so now is the time to be certain that the

soon-to-be-adopted plan is written with reasonable and obtainable goals

developed by fishermen, scientists and the public. There are 19 species

listed and the restricted areas are very extensive in the maps I have

seen banning fishing. I personally feel that any closure needs to

differentiate between commercial and recreational fishing effects and

meeting the goals.

Yes, protecting the marine life is important and I think we need a

plan that is good for all. I am just leery when a government agency has a

deadline to implement a plan. Immediately, the plans for Yellowstone's

Elks and the California Mountain Lions pop into my mind, followed by the

controversies. Contact Fish and Game for a copy and on the Web is o7

www.dfg.ca.govf7 .

In closing, last weekend I promised to tell you about my yacht

delivery from Ensenada, Mexico, to Sacramento. Well, Titan of the Sea

decided not to cooperate with us as the seas north of Point Conception

are more than 10 feet, with very short intervals, and wind waves are 5

feet on top. With my captain's prerogative, I postponed the trip as to

not jeopardize my crew, the yacht and especially me bouncing around in

those seas. So maybe next week, I will have a good story.

Safe voyages.

* MIKE WHITEHEAD is the Pilot's boating and harbor columnist. Send him

your harbor and marine-related thoughts and story suggestions via e-mail

to o7 Mike@BoathouseTV.comf7 or o7 BoathouseTV.comf7 .

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