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. Submittal of written
comments is encouraged to ensure that all comments will be included in
the record before the Commission. Please be prepared to summarize
comments to three minutes in length, or otherwise at the discretion of
Don Thompson indicated that he had planned to comment on the
ARMP and was disappointed to see that it had been rescheduled again,
but understood that the Department was making further revisions. He
hoped that they would be positive. He stated that in discussions with
Sen. Thompson, the original legislation was to include mitigation for
those displaced divers, but to date there has been no aid. He
indicated that the problems with the ARMP include inconsistencies in
defining density; biomass estimates are not used in determining the
health of the resource; and the goals of the plan are not feasible or
reasonable given the current population data.
Steve Rebuck commented that red abalone is not threatened or
endangered and should not be included in the moratorium. He noted that
the Department promised an ARMP by 1999 and that the fishery would be
opened in as little as 18 months, and seven years later there has been
no progress. He indicated that he did not think that the Department is
data poor and that sea otters are not affecting red abalone. He
supported a tag system for red abalone.
Tom Raftican provided a handout to the Commission and discussed
his support for SB 1459 regarding permitting all bottom trawls in
California and transferring all authority from the Legislature to the
Commission. He requested the Commission support the bill.
Freddy Otte provided a draft proposal to the Commission
regarding the use of rockfish as a candidate species for a stock
enhancement program. He indicated that years ago several rockfish were
captured with the salmon for his program and they have documented the
success of the fish's growth within containment. He discussed how a
tag and release program would provide data in areas that are currently
Walt Mansell commented that there is no such thing as a
non-consumptive user of wildlife resources as expressed in public
testimony at a previous Commission meeting. He indicated that all of
us utilize our valuable natural resources in one form or another.
Scott Wachenheim did not support trapping or hunting of bobcat
or non-native red fox. He discussed the advantages to increased
populations of these species. He provided a handout requesting the
Commission eliminate trapping and hunting of bobcat and nonnative red
fox in California.
Frank Donahue provided a handout to the Commission regarding his
grass roots habitat mapping project.
Bill James emphasized the need for adequate staffing levels
before taking on new projects like the MPAs. He discussed the need to
integrate economic data with scientific data when evaluating
Ed DuMong commented that the Commission is always against the
commercial fishermen and the fishermen do not have anyone fighting for
them. He indicated that he can't make a living any longer and doesn't
have any other skills that could support him and his family.
Chris Goldblatt discussed the sea otter populations that are
moving into the white abalone recovery areas and possible solutions to
keep those abalone populations safe. He also requested that the
Commission consider a sport fishery for red abalone.
David Nelson discussed the harmful effects that the power plant
has on marine ecosystems and requested the Commission address the
power plants as they have the commercial fishery.
Eric Endersby, on behalf of Recreational Fishing Alliance,
passed on condolences to Randy Fry's family and friends.
Vice President Schuchat asked everyone to observe a moment of
silence in remembrance of Mr. Fry's recent death.
Paul Weakland discussed the Abalone Recovery Management Plan and
stated that he has not received answers to his questions for the last
Steve Mathieu welcomed the Commission to the City of Morro Bay
and thanked them for coming to his hometown.