Updating the MLMA Master Plan: Committed to Improving Fishery Management through Greater Efficiency and Transparency

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Snowy egret keeps watch over bay shrimp commercial trawl gear on San Francisco Bay. CDFW photo by K. Lesyna

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), together with our partners including tribes and stakeholders, is preparing to amend the Marine Life Management Act (MLMA) Master Plan. The amended MLMA Master Plan will be designed to:

  • Enhance the sustainability of the state’s ocean fisheries;
  • Help promote more efficient, effective, and streamlined fisheries management;
  • Establish a clear pathway detailing the management approach for each fishery, and
  • Foster transparency and flexibility in fisheries management with tribes and native communities, stakeholders, and interested members of the public.

A phased approach is being used to amend the MLMA Master Plan:

Information Gathering Phase (2016): Led by CDFW, information gathering projects are developing tools and recommendations to be considered during the Amendment Phase. Work products and tools developed by each project will be assessed by CDFW, with input from stakeholders and the California Fish and Game Commission’s Marine Resources Committee, and potentially integrated into a draft, amended Master Plan framework that will inform the Amendment Phase.

Amendment Phase (late 2016-2017): This phase covers the drafting of the amended Master Plan. Tribes and stakeholders will be invited to review options developed during the Information Gathering Phase. Public workshops are planned for this phase. It is anticipated that a draft amended Master Plan will undergo independent scientific review in late 2017, which is a key step in preparation for submitting the amended Master Plan to the California Fish and Game Commission for their consideration.

CDFW’s goal is to submit the draft amended Master Plan in late 2017 to the California Fish and Game Commission. The Commission’s process for considering the draft amended Master Plan will provide additional opportunity for public input. Over the coming months, CDFW will provide regular progress updates to the California Fish and Game Commission’s Marine Resources Committee. Tribal consultation will be solicited through all phases of this effort. The amended Master Plan must be formally adopted at the conclusion of the Commission process in order to be implemented.

Resources

For more information about the MLMA Master Plan Amendment process, please visit the CDFW website or email  MLMA@wildlife.ca.gov.


post by Tom Barnes, CDFW Environmental Program Manager

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