California fund started to fight fishing restrictions

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The Ocean Access Protection Fund recently launched an online contribution program.

Through its site, this division of United Anglers of Southern California can collect online contributions for legal challenges against California's Marine Life Protection Act, as well as future threats to recreational access to ocean and coastal waters.

"Contributions to the OAPF will be used solely to support legal action against the MLPA and other policies that restrict recreational fishing access to California waters," United Anglers president Steve Fukuto said in a statement.

Although the protection fund is being spearheaded by United Anglers, it will represent the interests of anglers, businesses and others who are frustrated about the implementation of the law across southern, central and north-central California.

According to Fukuto, the protection fund was created to support legal causes of action against policies that do not recognize the conservation efforts of fishermen and affect recreational anglers' access to the ocean. The law is the first project that the organizers of the fund are undertaking.

Legal action on behalf of California anglers has already begun. A top California law firm was retained and already filed suit against the law's flawed implementation process, according to the group's statement.

The first hearing is scheduled for Oct. 1 in Sacramento Superior Court.

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