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CROWD: MARINE RESERVES HAPPENING TOO QUICKLY
Published: March 1, 2008

By Valliant Corley
Pilot staff writer

As many as 170 people crowded into the Chetco Grange Community Center Wednesday for a "listen and learn" forum on marine reserves sponsored by the Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC). But most were more interested in giving their opinions, which were overwhelmingly against marine reserves.
At the end of the 2 1/2 hour presentation, even some members of Oregon Sea Grant, who were conducting the forum, agreed with a majority of the audience that the project pushed by Gov. Ted Kulongoski is moving too fast.
"I think one of the comments that needs to come out of this is we need more time on this, time to do more of these," said moderator Ginny Goblirsch of Newport.
Goblirsch is a longtime Sea Grant extension agent brought out of retirement to coordinate the outreach effort. Patty Burke, marine resources manager for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Selina Heppell, a faculty researcher with the OSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, also made presentations.
The forum in Harbor was sixth of the scheduled eight up and down the coast, with the seventh held Thursday at Port Orford.
"I think this is the 130th marine reserves meeting," said Rep. Wayne Krieger, R-Gold Beach, from the audience. "I hope we can get to the portion we can refine what we're trying to do. Why would you want to leave something permanently when it's not meeting an objective?"
Krieger worked on a marine reserves funding bill in the just-ended Legislature. That measure died in the Ways and Means Committee when no money was found to fund it.
"The issue of less than 10 marine reserves the governor talked about. ... The governor said he would not sign a bill that limited it to less than 10," Krieger said. "He wants more. He's just not telling you."
Goblirsch started the meeting saying that OPAC has made no recommendation yet on marine reserves. She said that those who spoke would have their messages passed on to OPAC and those attending the forum were given large cards to give their opinions about OPAC, cards that she assured would be presented to OPAC.
"Their next meeting is at the end of March," she said. "All comments we are taking will be before OPAC at that time. We have several thousand cards of feedback. They will go directly to OPAC."
Burke, marine program manager for ODF&W, said she was there to get everyone on the same playing field. She said 95 percent of the territorial sea, the beach out three miles, is unmapped.
"We're fishing a lot of species we don't know about," Burke said. "What I hope is there are some good things that come out of here."
Heppell told the forum they did not need to worry about restrictions on beaches.
"Right now, the reserves are to be under water all the time," said the OSU fisheries representative.
"How can marine reserves benefit, not disrupt, the existing economic and recreational uses of the ocean?" asked Bill Waddle.
"May main question is who wants these marine reserves. Who are these people," said Bill Fares. "Is it tied to political pressure."
Ralph Brown said that marine reserves should have a result outside the area but none of the studies appear to show it does.
"The evidence is not strong at all that you're going to have a good fisheries' management tool," Heppell replied. "But marine reserves isn't necessarily about fisheries management."
Port of Brookings Harbor Commissioner Jim Relaford said the biggest concern of fishermen is the process the marine reserves are going through.
"We've got the cart before the horse," Relaford said. "We've got a governor that says it has to be done by November."
He said a territorial sea plan, an economic impact statement and an environmental impact "are all required before marine reserves.
"I ask the question, where is the master plan; has the territorial sea plan been considered in this process?" Relaford asked. "How can we as a community trust this process?"
One member of the crowd said that marine reserves won't have any effect on dead zones in the ocean.
"We have over 20 large rivers that empty in the ocean. They have more impact on the ocean than all the fishermen. Can we afford marine reserves when we have no social economic impacts? Those should have done before we got to this point."
A reply from a Sea Grant member agreed.
"It should have been done," he said.
Port Commissioner Roy Davis asked everyone in the room who support marine reserves to raise their hands. Three hands were raised.
"Out of 170 in this group, three support marine reserves," Davis said.
Burke was asked if ODF&W failed some way that marine reserves need to be established.
"Are we protecting enough? I don't know. I think we are," Burke replied "I don't feel this is an indictment of ODF&W. I feel this is another tool."
Bill Fares asked "When you are taking one of the largest variable out of the equation, taking fishermen out of the equation, how do we study the ocean? Why do we need marine reserves put in without any input from commercial fishermen or sport fishermen?"
"We don't get to set policy. We get to recommend policy. The staff doesn't have a recommendation for this. When it comes to ODF&W, we will have a position," Burke replied.
One sports fisherman said that if there's a problem, "I want ODF&W to cut back on fishing. We don't need marine reserves. This is all political. Who's behind this? It's those rich environmental groups that are against fishing period." Goblirsch said as the forum ended that "we have several thousand cards now that are going to make a powerful statement to OPAC."
 

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I wonder why NJDIVER wasn't the first to tell us about this ??????
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Some windbag explanation about the difference between different types of MPAs that favors his 'pots on reefs' vision.
 

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egghead said:
Some windbag explanation about the difference between different types of MPAs that favors his 'pots on reefs' vision.
You’re getting as bad with your typing as Mr. Fishpicker and the “where’d he go?” Mr. hesafishguy.
 
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