Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara

Support AB 571 (Commercial Lobster Stamp) – March 20 deadline

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Fishery Business Network Steering Committee:

The California Lobster and Trap Fishermen’s Association (CLTFA), together with Environmental Defense Fund and the California Fisheries Fund, is pursuing a bill to establish a funding mechanism that would enable commercial lobster fishermen to pursue projects that improve lobster conservation and management. We hope you will consider sending a letter of support to Assemblymember Lori Saldana’s office before  Friday, March 20. Please see the template letter in the body of this email below.

Background on AB 571

California lobster fishermen are interested in engaging in – and funding – projects that would promote the long-term conservation of the fishery while increasing fishing profitability. A significant obstacle to doing so is the fishermen’s inability to establish a reliable mechanism for collecting assessments to fund these projects. To address this problem, CLTFA is pursuing a new, legislatively required stamp on commercial lobster permits, which would generate a steady source of funds to be used for programs that support the lobster fishery.

Under AB 571 commercial lobster fishermen will annually purchase a $300 lobster stamp. Revenues from lobster stamp sales will be deposited in a dedicated account, established within the Ocean Protection Trust Fund, under the purview of the Ocean Protection Council (OPC). The bill creates a new, five-member advisory committee (including three current lobster operator permit holders) that will recommend to the OPC Secretary projects and programs to be carried out using account funds. Potential projects include:

·       Promoting sustainability by purchasing (and retiring) commercial lobster operator permits to address overcapitalization in the fishery; and

·       Pursuing Marine Stewardship Council sustainability certification for the fishery.

 

 

AB 571 (Saldaña); Commercial Lobster Fishing Stamp

Background: California lobster fishermen are interested in engaging in – and funding – projects that would promote the long-term conservation of the fishery while increasing fishing profitability. A significant obstacle to doing so is the fishermen’s inability to, on their own, establish a reliable mechanism for collecting assessments to fund these projects. 

To address this problem, members of the commercial lobster fishermen’s trade group – the California Lobster and Trap Fishermen’s Association – voted in summer 2008 to pursue a new, legislatively required stamp on commercial lobster permits, which would generate a steady source of funds to be used for programs that support the lobster fishery.

Existing law: Existing law requires lobster fishermen to have a valid lobster operator permit issued by the Department of Fish and Game in order to take lobsters for commercial purposes.  Lobster operator permits are issued (or renewed) annually.

This Bill: This bill establishes a funding mechanism by which California lobster fishermen can pay for programs to improve lobster conservation and management. Under  AB 571 commercial lobster fishermen will annually purchase a $300 lobster stamp, to be affixed to a valid commercial fishing license. Revenues from lobster stamp sales will be deposited in a new Commercial Lobster Stamp Account, established within the Ocean Protection Trust Fund, under the purview of the Ocean Protection Council.

This bill creates a new, five-member Commercial Lobster Stamp Advisory Committee –comprised of three California commercial lobster fishermen, the Director (or a designee) of  the Department of Fish and Game, and the Secretary of the Ocean Protection Council (OPC) – that will recommend to the OPC Secretary projects and programs to be carried out using account funds. Expenditures from the Commercial Lobster Stamp Account must support long-term conservation and/or improved management of the California spiny lobster fishery. Potential projects include

·       Promoting sustainability by purchasing (and retiring) commercial lobster operator permits to address overcapitalization in the fishery

·       Pursuing Marine Stewardship Council sustainability certification for the fishery

·       Promoting research that leads to informed and strategic management

 

Co-Sponsors:

- California Lobster and Trap Fishermen’s Association        – Environmental Defense Fund

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For more information, contact Andrew Zingale at 916-319-2076

TEMPLATE LETTER:

(DATE)

Assembly Member Lori Saldaña

State Capitol Room 3152

Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: AB 571 (Saldaña)—Support

Dear Assembly Member Saldaña:

(Organization name & information)… would like to inform you of our support for AB 571.

As a (local/statewide/national) organization that works on we view this legislation as an important step towards sustaining an important California fishery.

California lobster fishermen are interested in engaging in – and funding – projects that would promote the long-term conservation of the fishery while increasing fishing profitability. A significant obstacle to doing so is the fishermen’s inability to establish a reliable mechanism for collecting assessments to fund these projects on their own. 

To address this problem, members of the commercial lobster fishermen’s trade group – the California Lobster and Trap Fishermen’s Association – voted in summer 2008 to pursue a new, legislatively required stamp on commercial lobster permits, which would generate a steady source of funds to be used for programs that support the lobster fishery.

 

Revenues from lobster stamp sales will be deposited in a new Commercial Lobster Stamp Account, established within the Ocean Protection Trust Fund, under the purview of the Ocean Protection Council.  Expenditures from the Commercial Lobster Stamp Account will support long-term conservation and the improved management of the California spiny lobster fishery.

For the above reasons, (Organization) supports AB 571 and urges its passing.  If you have any further questions, please contact…

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