A bill to limit commercial fishing has been introduced in the California Assembly – California Globe

A bill to limit commercial fishing has been introduced in the California Assembly – California Globe

A new bill that would significantly limit gillnet fishing in California, as well as end catches of certain species of fish, was introduced in the Assembly this week.

According to Assembly Bill 2220, authored by Assemblyman Steve Bennett (D-Ojai), the Department of Fish and Wildlife would adopt and implement regulations requiring any commercial fishing vessel operating with a properly issued state permit to carry an independent third party vessel. An on-board observer while working within a government fishery. In addition, all bycatch exceptions for the catch of giant sea bass and great white sharks will also be ended, resulting in a complete ban on commercial fishing of these species. Finally, the use of gillnets and triple nets, which typically use a “wall” of vertical nets to help better catch fish, will be completely banned in all California ocean waters starting January 1, 2025.

Assemblyman Bennett wrote the bill because gillnet fishing is generally viewed as destructive, with nets catching everything, including endangered species. He also hopes the bill will improve the quality of California’s seafood as a result, while reducing waste and providing more fish overall without gillnets.

“There are alternative fishing methods that have been proven to reduce harm to marine life and reduce bycatch while producing high-quality seafood,” Bennett said this week. “AB 2220 aligns Southern California waters with Northern California by banning gillnets in all state ocean waters, expanding marine life protections and encouraging sustainable practices for all who enjoy and make a living in our ocean.”

New draft fishing law in the Assembly

While AB 2220 received no support or opposition from any other lawmakers this week, environmental groups approved it given how far the bill goes to protect fish. Many also see it as the next step toward the federal Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act, which is set to end more large-scale gillnets in 2027.

“The diversity of life in the oceans off California rivals anywhere else around the world, but the state’s gillnet fishery threatens the very ocean animals that support a healthy ocean ecosystem, stimulate tourism, and support a robust fishery, which Californians value.” Oceana California Campaign Director and Chief Scientist Jeff Chester. “California residents have already said they don’t want these nets removed from our beaches, having voted to ban them more than 30 years ago.”

However, many in Sacramento emphasized that they want to see the costs associated with AB 2220 before making a decision. No numbers have been released yet on how much the state and local counties stand to lose if the bill is implemented.

“There are many lawmakers who would be reluctant to sign a bill like this, especially in the uncertain times we are living in now,” Dana, a Capitol staffer, told the Globe on Wednesday. “A lot of people are in favor of preserving fishing, but this kind of bill raises a lot of critical questions. And if this bill costs a lot, or takes away a lot of commercial fishing, you know, that would add to the state’s budget problems.” “We’re in a $68 billion hole. We need a price for this one.”

“Environmental issues are important, but right now, we need to fix this budget so we can continue to get the state to continue working. And if this bill costs a lot of money, people will want to know that. The environmental part of this won’t be The deciding factor is its cost.

AB 2220 is expected to be heard soon in Assembly committees.

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