Fishing Organizations Make Plea To World Surf League Over 30-By-30 Support

Coastal Conservation Association of California

Hunters, anglers and many conservation groups are opposed to the proposed 30-x-30 bill that would potentially shut down fishing and hunting opportunities in California. One of the most vocal opponents of the bill, the Coastal Conservation Association of California, is sending a joint letter to the World Surf League, which is supporting the bill.

World Surf League, 

As members of the fishing, surfing, diving, and paddle sports communities, we greatly appreciate We  Are One Ocean’s dedication to protecting our global oceans and commend you for including a few  participants from the scuba and sailing worlds in this effort. We are writing to request that the voice of  one of the largest utilizers of the ocean resource—the fishing community—is included as well. 

We all agree that the ocean is in desperate need of our help. A campaign focusing on plastic pollution,  ocean acidification, biodiversity, freshwater runoff, and regulation of global fishing fleets is of critical  importance. Effectively addressing these threats to biodiversity must however come with a stakeholder driven process. Specifically, that means a conversation around protected areas allowing for well managed and sustainable wildlife-dependent activities. 

Our community has demonstrated proven strategies (seasonal closures, bag and size limits, elimination  of destructive gear, etc.) that have restored many inshore saltwater fisheries and certainly earned us a  key voice in this conversation. We look forward to engaging in a dialog around your definition of “low  impact fishing,” along with the roles and authorities for those charged with carrying out any potential  30×30 initiatives that you support. 

Like surfers, our community requires access to pursue our passion. We know that the WSL does not  intend to inadvertently ban fishing access. However, without representation in the process, we have no  assurance that our access will not be negatively impacted. Many of the emotion-based arguments made  for recreational fishing closures could one day be applied to beach and surfing access. As a final note of  caution, we encourage the WSL to only support practically applied science-based conservation efforts. 

The companies below are but a few who make a living on and from the ocean, each interacting with the  resource in a unique and personal way. Our industries require a healthy ocean to survive. As a collective  group, we encourage the WSL to suspend the promotion of their petition and sit down with these  companies along with organizations that can speak for fishing interests like Keep America Fishing and  the Coastal Conservation Association. We look forward to discussing how We Are One Ocean can best  be molded into something that works to enhance both the marine resource and the use of that  resource.