Bob Strickland, President United Anglers of California, Inc. (408) 371-0331 (Office) (408) 371-9459 (Fax) 15572 Woodard Rd. San Jose, CA 95124

Robert Treanor Executive Director California Fish and Game Commission P.O. Box 944209 Sacramento, CA 94244-2090

Dear Mr. Treanor and Commissioners:

United Anglers of California supports the Kelp Coalition's position

"Considerable controversy has arisen among the representatives of commercial and recreational fishing interests regarding the fishing potential of the California nearshore waters. Serious differences in interpretation of key elements of the Marine Life Management Act (hereinafter "MLMA") have arisen. These differences manifest themselves in diverse areas including interpretation and design of the Nearshore Fishery Management Plan and geographic considerations of Marine Protected Areas under the MLPA. On behalf of the signatories listed below we respectfully request that an item be added to the Fish and Game Commission agenda and that our speakers be allowed the courtesy of a 15 minute coordinated presentation by the undersigned public representatives for consideration and discussion at a regularly scheduled Fish and Game Commission meeting.


We believe there exists within the law a legislatively mandated preference in favor of recreation users of the nearshore marine resources over the commercial exploitation of same. We believe that at the present time there is insufficient resource to assure a reasonable recreational fishery. As a quasi-judicial body we ask that you take Judicial Notice of the scarcity of resources and the considerable conflict that is highlighted at virtually every Commission meeting. Our request is for clarification and acknowledgement that there exists within the law of the State of California a resource management preference in favor of recreational use of the nearshore resources over the for-profit, commercial exploitation of the public trust marine fishery resources."

United Anglers of California feels that the fish in the waters of our state belong to the people first, with any excess allocated to commercial fisheries. We are very upset with the way the Nearshore allocation has been split, alllowing recreational anglers only two individual fish from among the five species of what are termed "shallow-nearshore" fish (in the 0-10 fathom zone). These are the most highly prized fish for the Nearshore commercial fishermen, which again shows commercial preference. The big downside is that all the shore fishermen could have their limit cut to two fish instead of ten, as they by definition cannot access the deeper parts of the Nearshore. This is a travesty of fairness: The public should have access to these fish that is at least equal to commercial access, erring to the side of public preference. These fish and the waters they're in do not, I repeat, do not, belong to the commercial entities. This water and its fish are part of the public domain and should be given back to the citizens of this state.

The entrenched, long-standing commercial preference in fishery regulation needs to stop. We, the public, pay dearly to fish. All the commercial fishermen do is take, giving very little back. We insist that the Commission recognize that the people of this state are lawful beneficiaries of our state's resources. As the caretakers of our state's resources, we demand that you, the Commission, manage these resources for the benefit of the people of this state.

We know that decisions have been made with bad or incomplete data. We are willing to become part of the solution to the problem of getting and using more accurate and timely data upon which to base better decisions about fishery management.

As long as our resources are in trouble, we feel that all fisheries should operate with limits, commercial as well as recreational. We need to stop the wholesale slaughter of these fish for commercial profit. We must slow the harvest way down, or our oceans will not continue to produce a fish for future generations.

Thank you for your consideration. I won't read this letter at the Commission meeting, due to its length, but I hope you will consider our requests.


Bob Strickland