Wednesday, June 07, 2006

An E-mail on Establish Marine Protected Areas

Hi Janice,

Last week we asked you to help us establish Marine Protected Areas off
the coast of California. Much like national parks, these areas will
help to protect our oceans and the marine life that live in them.

Unfortunately, the industrial fishing industry and polluters want Gov.
Schwarzenegger to enact a plan that will provide the least protection
to our oceans. To counter their power we need you to write a letter
about the importance of our oceans and mail it to the governor. Your
personal touch will drive home the urgency of this issue.

For instructions and to take action, click here or paste this link in
your web browser:

http://www.environmentcalifornia.org/oceans/governorletterwriting?id4=ES


Then ask your family and friends to do help too by forwarding this
message to them.


Background

Of the myriad threats to our oceans, one of the most serious is rampant
overfishing. According to The Ocean Conservancy, "many marine
scientists now believe that overfishing is the biggest human impact on the
world's oceans." Overfishing, bycatch (the unintended capture of non-target
fish and other marine life), bottom trawling (which destroys sea floor
habitat), and other harmful activities have led to a precipitous
decline in our nation's fisheries over the last several years. Some species
are so depleted that, in the summer of 2003, Washington, Oregon and
California saw reductions in their commercial fishing quotas by more than
50 percent (the largest decreases in quotas ever for these fisheries).

As industrialized commercial fishing replaced subsistence harvests
around the world, overfishing has steadily worsened the health of our
oceans. Equipped with government subsidized, high-tech fishing fleets,
fishing industry conglomerates have become so efficient that some fish
populations have disappeared within just a few years. A May 2003 study
published in "Nature" magazine found that populations of large predatory
ocean fish like tuna, swordfish, marlin and sharks have declined by 90
percent since the introduction of commercial fishing just over 50 years
ago. The same study found that it only takes 10-15 years for a fishery to
reduce fish populations by 80 percent.

To begin to remedy our oceans problems, California passed the Marine
Life Protection Act (MLPA) in 1999. The MLPA, which was supported by
conservation leaders, scientists, scuba divers, educators and fishermen,
required the state to set up a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Much like a national park in the ocean, MPA's are designed to protect
our natural wonders for generations to come. These 'marine parks'
designate areas in the ocean that would be protected and generally allow all
recreation, transit and anchoring, but limit fishing depending on the
needs of a specific habitat. This sustainable management will help
restore health to marine life and ocean habitats.

Scientific studies show that biodiversity inside marine parks can be 50
percent higher than in fished areas. Fish inside these areas are older
and larger than outside and these fish play an important role by
producing more and healthier babies than their younger counterparts. A well
designed network of protected areas can strike a balance, encompassing a
full range of habitats in marine reserves while leaving much of the
coast open for fishing.

As directed by the Marine Life Protection Act in 1999, a task force has
put together three scenarios for ocean protection. They will forward
these three scenarios on to the Department of Fish and Game and the
governor where only one of the scenarios will be implemented. Of the three
scenarios only one will set up a network of marine parks that will truly
protect our oceans. For detailed information on the three scenarios
being considered, visit the Department of Fish and Game's Web site at
http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/mlpa/centralcoast.html#maps

As you read this, Gov. Schwarzenegger is choosing between three
proposed ocean management plans, only one will truly offer our ocean the
protection it needs to rehabilitate and flourish. Meanwhile, powerful
interests are lobbying for the plan that will allow overfishing and ocean
pollution to continue. Your action is needed to ensure that we can take
the first step in protecting our oceans and establish marine parks off
the coast of California.

Please take a moment to write a personal letter to Gov. Schwarzenegger.
Together we can flood his office with support for the plan that will
protect our oceans effectively.

For instructions and to take action, click here or paste this link in
your web browser:

http://www.environmentcalifornia.org/oceans/governorletterwriting?id4=ES

Sincerely,

Dan Jacobson
Environment California Legislative Director
DanJ@environmentcalifornia.org
http://www.EnvironmentCalifornia.org

P.S. Thanks again for your support. Please feel free to share this
e-mail with your family and friends.

3 comments:

Granny said...

Will do.

ipodmomma said...

Jocelyn, the ipoddauta, left you a comment on my hut not hit post...

and while I'm not a nerd, garnering only 19%, Ted is! 81 % for my girl... :))) we used to joke when she was a baby that she'd grow up to be a physics nun, as Peter has a degree in physics... but perhaps she will be a math Jesuit instead...

Janice said...

Hi Ann,

That great!

Hi Ipodmomma,

Wow! Maybe she will be!

I'll check on the message then, thanks.

Lady Jan~