PUBLIC FORUM - Any member of the public may address and/or ask questions of the Commission relating to the implementation of its policies or any other matter within the jurisdiction of the Commission. As a general rule, action cannot be taken on issues not listed on the agenda. Staff will normally be requested to follow up on such items at the discretion of the Commission.
Dick Noles provided a photograph of a guzzler to the Commission and reported on the Water for Life Program which installs water systems in the mountains for animal use, converting bird drinkers into water receptacles for all animal populations as well as large metal drums that are available to wildlife year round. He indicated this is a community project with over one hundred volunteers, proving to be very successful. He noted this program is privately funded and they are very proud of it.
Paul Weakland provided a handout to the Commission from Marine Management News regarding the abalone management recovery plan. He commented that "special" meetings have been changed several times and have not been publically announced.
Executive Director Treanor clarified that the Commission did not have a meeting in January and as soon as all of the arrangements have been confirmed for those three meetings, the information will be published.
Paul Weakland also provided an article on "Farmed Fish Populations" and commented on how devastating these fish can be to the environment.
Executive Director Treanor noted an email sent to the Commission from a group of squid fishermen, asking the Commission to take emergency action to establish a twelve hour per day fishery for squid in Monterey Bay on weekdays; a joint letter of support was also faxed to the Commission from The Ocean Conservancy and NRDC. He reported that he had asked the Department to review the situation to see if there is a resource issue that needs to be addressed, but had not heard from the Marine Region on the matter.
Deputy Director Mastrup stated that at this point there is no data to evaluate, it may be an issue of over-harvesting the squid. He stated that squid life cycles are not easy to research as they appear and disappear, only spawning once in the life cycle; because of this research would be long term. He commented that the fishermen may need to be spread out or limited.
Commissioner Schuchat noted that this is one of the few limited-entry programs where quite a few squid fishermen have pushed for greater restrictions.
Executive Director Treanor commented that the Department has developed a draft fisheries management plan, which includes a restricted access recommendation that he believes will be presented at the early August meeting.
President Flores commented that he did not want to get caught up in a group that would like to restrict others from access.
Executive Director Treanor stated that he would work with Deputy Director Mastrup to provide a memo with updates and a recommendation to take action or not, and will address it further at the next Marine subcommittee.