Sportfishing Groups Sound Alarm Over California Bill

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California is considering a bill that sportfishing groups say should be on the entire industry’s radar because it not only impacts fishing in the state, but also has implications for the whole country.

AB 3030, which cleared the California state assembly last week and awaits consideration by the state senate, seeks to protect 30 percent of the state’s lands and waters, and to help advance protection of 30 percent of the nation’s oceans, by 2030.

The American Sportfishing Association says it is concerned about the “broad and sweeping nature of the bill.

“Even outside California, we need to be watching this closely,” said ASA fisheries policy director Danielle Cloutier in a statement. “We’re seeing signs that this policy is being taken under consideration in other states and in Congress. ASA is actively working alongside its partners in California to oppose this bill as it currently stands and to seek changes that would clarify that no unnecessary closures to recreational fishing would result from this bill.”

More than 175 scientists who live or work in California have signed a letter supporting the bill.

“As global momentum is building, international leaders and scientists are uniting around a goal to protect at least 30 percent of the planet by 2030, known as 30 by 30,” read a statement by the Natural Resources Defense Council. “To protect our planet from the worst impacts from climate change and decreasing biodiversity, scientists have called upon countries to protect at least half of our planet by 2050, with 30 by 30 being an interim goal.”