Appeals Court Rules Against California Anglers

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From the United Anglers of Southern California:

California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal has ruled against the Coastside Fishing Club in its effort to overturn California’s Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) implementation plan that establishes an onerous network of no-fishing zones along the California coastline.

Coastside, our sister organization to the north, argued that the California Fish and Game Commission failed to comply with statutory requirements in creating these vast no- fishing zones. Unfortunately, the appeals court is unconvinced of the necessity of these rulemaking safeguards and so has allowed the current regulations to stand, no matter how flawed the adoption process.

Speaking as board members of United Anglers of Southern California and saltwater anglers ourselves, this is deeply disappointing, but not unexpected, news. This seemingly predetermined conclusion has been in from the very beginning of the MLPA’s implementation-a process funded and directed behind the scenes by anti-fishing extremists who have co-opted several environmental organizations. UASC firmly holds that funding of public processes by special interests is fundamentally inappropriate- tantamount to allowing the fox to guard the hen house.

In the ruling, Associate Justice Terry O’Rourke of the San Diego-based Fourth District Court of Appeal wrote, “Considering the enormous investment of time and effort by so many that went into their creation, we are loathe to hold the North Central Coast regulations invalid and undo the arduous process that resulted in their adoption absent a compelling reason to do so.”

To UASC, O’Rourke’s opinion sounds like a justification; a lazy excuse rather than a legal ruling. Coastside Fishing Club has not yet decided whether to appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Like Coastside, UASC recognizes that the threats to the ocean are not coming from recreational hook-and-line fishermen, but we have been easy targets.

Speaking for UASC, we will continue to muster all available resources to sustain the battle against unjustified and unlawful fishing closures. A small number of influential and well financed anti-fishing extremists have steered environmental organizations in a way that hijacks the MLPA process. Unless we continue to fight, Californians that are

passionate about our freedoms will not have a voice, and we all risk losing our generational heritage of recreational fishing rights.

We encourage all anglers to unite with us in this fight by joining UASC at our upcoming fundraising dinner June 2nd at 6 pm at Newport Beach Golf Course. It’s vital to get involved; please consider donating time money and committing to “carry our message” to friends and family members who may not fish, but care about the future of marine recreation in our state. We are the organization fighting for your right to fish. If we don’t stand together now, who will?


Board of Directors
United Anglers of Southern California A 501c (3) non-profit organization 1933 Temple Ave.
Signal Hill, CA 90755
(562) 494-9900