Fishing Companies Look to get Input on 30×30

CALIFORNIA一 In Oct. 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order pledging California as the first state to conserve 30 percent of land and coastal water by 2030.

In January of this year, newly elected President Joe Biden also committed to conserving 30 percent of the land and ocean by 2030.

In previous articles, the Log has written about the fishing and boating communities who are looking for a seat at the table to talk about 30×30 and how the communities can work with the government to protect the ocean but still continue to operate.

The latest update on 30×30 is a little more international as a series of fishing and surfing companies have written an open letter to the World Surf League asking them to suspend their 30×30 petition until they have sat down and allowed the various water-centered communities to add their input.

The “We Are One Ocean” petition was put forth by the World Surf League to all national governments encouraging them to secure 30 percent of the global ocean by 2030, and strengthen the conservation of the other 70 percent.

The World Surf League is hoping to encourage a target at the 2021 United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity on May 17.

This particular petition is heavily focused on international waters and is working to promote the creation of Marine Protected Areas that allow for low-impact fishing, according to the We Are One Ocean website.

“The single most important thing we can do for the ocean, besides cutting CO2 emissions, is to significantly reduce other major stressors like overfishing, offshore oil development, seabed mining, and habitat destruction through the creation of marine protected areas (MPAs) — parks in the ocean where human industrial activities are prohibited,” said the World Surf League website.

The open letter from sixteen fishing and surfing companies calls for the league to sit down with the angler community to specify the definition of “low-impact” fishing and ensure that the community continues to have access.

The community goes on to list a series of conservation strategies that have been put in place like seasonal closures, bag and size limits, and the discontinuation of destructive gear like gill nets.

“We know that the WSL does not intend to inadvertently ban fishing access.” said the March 3 letter. “However, without representation in the process, we have no assurance that our access will not be negatively impacted. Many of the emotion-based arguments made for recreational fishing closures could one day be applied to beach and surfing access.”

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