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Fishermen lobby to deep-six marine reserves

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Articles - February 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011


The waters around Cape Perpetua are under consideration for protection as one of three proposed marine reserves.

A recent scientific study co-authored by Oregon State University marine biologists showed that marine reserves help boost fisheries over 100 miles away.

“These [areas] are going to change rapidly as the ocean warms, acidifies and harmful algal blooms occur,” notes Mark Hixon, one of the OSU co-authors of the study, stressing that marine reserves lead to more resilient ecosystems that can weather changes better than areas that are regularly fished.

But the study hasn’t changed the minds of many Oregon fishermen who have fought against reserves on the state’s coast for years and continue to oppose them. “People in the fishing industry see marine reserves as a solution looking for a problem,” says Oregon Trawl Commission director Brad Pettinger. He and other opponents fear that new marine reserves would threaten the livelihoods of coastal fishermen. According to Oregon’s employment department, the state's total landed value of commercially caught fish in 2009 was $109 million.

Not all fishermen agree with Pettinger, who represents the interests of Oregon’s trawling fishermen, who fish 10 to 30 miles from the coast. The proposed marine reserves extend three miles out from the coast. “Historically, (pilot reserve Redfish Rocks) had been fished pretty hard,” says Port Orford Ocean Resource Team spokesman Aaron Longton, who hook and line fishes near Redfish Rocks. “They wiped this place out,” he says, speaking of trawling boats that, until restrictions were place in 2002, operated near the shore.

The state Legislature will consider funding three proposed reserves, but finding the money in light of the state's $3.5 billion shortfall will be a challenge.



Don McDaniel
0 #1 Marine ReservesDon McDaniel 2011-02-18 21:08:12
I was on one of the Marine Reserves Task Forces which made its final recommendation several months ago. It appeared that the composition of the team was intentionally stacked so that the fishermen had no chance to prevail in the final recommendation.
It is highly questionably whether such reserves could benefit the fish population. However, what is certain is that they would put people (fishermen, processers and related workers) out of business and would be disasterous to such fishing communities as Gerabaldi.
Marine Reserves are just a bad idea.
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Rennie Ferris
0 #2 Rennie FerrisRennie Ferris 2011-02-18 21:50:20
They've worked everywhere else in the world, why wouldn't they here? The fishermen that would benefit the most from the bigger fish coming out of the reserves seem to be the ones fighting the hardest against them.
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Terry Mock
0 #3 Port Orford Community Stewardship AreaTerry Mock 2011-02-20 11:28:48
The Port Orford Ocean Resource Team (POORT) has a mission to engage Port Orford fishers and other community members in developing and implementing a Port Orford Community Stewardship Area Plan that ensures the long-term sustainability of the Port Orford reef ecosystem and social system dependent on it. The Redfish Rocks area south of Port Orford has been designated a pilot marine reserve and a broader area of some 30 miles in length along the southern Oregon coast forming a unique 935-square-mile land and sea stewardship area is to protect terrestrial, freshwater, intertidal and ocean reserves. This model sustainability initiative is a prime example of a trend described in the current Oregon Planners Journal entitled Ecosystem Services: A new approach to planning that can help the profession to plan sustainably.

On February 11th, POORT held its 3rd annual Land-Sea Connection workshop to share healthy best practices with proactive agencies, NGO’s and local stakeholders to improve collaboration within the stewardship area and encourage implementation of the Port Orford Marine Economic Recovery Plan. Located in the stewardship area headwaters along a 1000’ ridgetop overlooking old growth forest and the marine reserve, Ocean Mountain Ranch is a SLDI carbon-negative project that will provide for long-term yield of high-quality hardwood, softwood, and wildlife habitat while serving as a model organic forestry/grazin g operation incorporating residential, agricultural, educational, recreational, and industrial activities to promote sustainable land development best practices on the southern Oregon coast by mixing nature, tradition, and economics for a sustainable future... http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/02/fractal-frontier/
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