Casey AllenMarine Protected Areas

From the HASA 2010 Summer Newsletter

July 7th was the MLPA Open House where the public could stop by and see what was happening in the process. Members of HASA and other concerned fishermen turned out to protest the MLPA process. We had about 60-70 people on shore and 20 boats parading in front of the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center with signs and banners.  We were on live KIEM TV news and Access Humboldt was taking video and doing interviews for a documentary.  Many of the Harbor Commissioners were there and so was Karen Brooks, republican candidate for State Assembly.  Dennis Mayo represented fishermen and was interviewed by Andrea Marvin of KIEM TV. She also interviewed Melissa Miller-Henson, head contractor on the MLPA implementation team. When asked if this protest will have a bearing on the MPLA process Melissa used a lot of words to say “no.” (Then why bother to have an open house?)

MLPA Protesters
The MLPA protest was meant to grab the attention of our elected officials who are the only ones that can stop this process. So far the only official at the State level who has come out strong against the MLPA is Senator Dutton from Southern California. It is odd that Chesbro, Higgins, Thompson, Boxer, Feinstein and even the Governator have all been quiet on the MLPA. Why? Are they afraid they won’t get re-elected? (Arnold shouldn’t be worried about that). If this issue is that polarizing then it should be stopped and re-evaluated. Most fishermen were for the MLPA when it was first proposed, but once implementation began and people saw the truth about how much habitat was being closed needlessly, they want it stopped. A KIEM TV on-line poll shows 92% of respondents are against the North Coast MLPA.
We need to continue to write letters and talk to anyone who will listen. Attend meetings and speak out. Use your vote wisely in November to elect people who will do their job and not contract it out to private interests. There has even been talk of civil disobedience. Can you believe it? I managed not to get arrested when I was young and now I’m thinking about being arrested on purpose! How can our government let this get to that point?
MLPA Protest