Press release courtesy of Sportfishing Association of California
August 13, 2014 (Sacramento, CA): Yesterday evening, due to the backlash they received from anglers throughout the State, the Manhattan Beach City Council voted to lift its pier fishing ban and restored anglers’ right to fish off our State’s coastal waters.
However, in direct violation of State law, the City adopted additional ordinances to regulate fishing by the method and manor of take, an authority that is exclusively reserved to the State Fish and Game Commission, and will consider a plan to establish a State Marine Reserve that would eliminate recreational fishing all together in Manhattan Beach and extend to Hermosa Beach.
Additionally, the Council wants to create no fishing zones on the pier and discussed imposing new time restrictions or hours when people can and cannot fish on the pier, an action that will require permits and approvals from the California Coastal Commission.
“Once again the Manhattan City Council exceeded its authority by imposing draconian regulations to address a regretful and isolated shark attack,” said Marko Mlikotin, executive director of the California Sportfishing League. “To protect access to recreational fishing in California, we will challenge these illegal regulations before the California Fish and Game Commission. The City is also exposing taxpayers to potential costly litigation that will surely result in these illegal regulations being overturned.”
The City also asked Staff to investigate declaring the coastline from Manhattan Beach to Hermosa Beach a State Marine Reserve. While State Marine Reserves are primarily intended to protect endangered marine life, the City Council is now looking to use the designation as a way to eliminate all recreational fishing.
“The City of Manhattan Beach is sending a strong message that recreational anglers are no longer welcome in their city,” said Mlikotin. “The Council simply doesn’t understand that fishing is a safe form of recreation that generates tourism dollars and jobs in their community. We really wished the Council would have respected California’s laws and reached a more sensible solution.”
Since July 31st, over 1,000 Californians have signed CSL’s online petition opposing any type of ban on pier fishing, including small bait and tackle shop owners who rely upon pier anglers for jobs. Those signed petitions were handed to the Council Members at the meeting where CSL voiced its strong opposition to the proposed ordinances.
In an August 11th letter to the City, the California Fish and Game Commission stated that only the State has the authority to impose limits on fishing practices and gear. The City’s recent actions are clearly at odds with State law.
The California Sportfishing League (CSL) is a nonprofit coalition of fresh and saltwater anglers, and small business owners devoted to protecting access to recreational fishing. Recreational fishing contributes over $4.9 billion annually to California’s economy, a major of outdoor tourism and jobs.
To learn more visit www.SportfishingConservation.org or @CASportfishing
Contact: Marko Mlikotin