March 29 hearing will be focused on California’s multibillion dollar fishery and aquaculture industry
Sacramento, CA – Senator Mike McGuire, chairman of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture, will convene the 44th annual Zeke Grader Fisheries Forum Wednesday, March 29 at the State Capitol in Sacramento.
John Laird, California’s Natural Resources Secretary, Charlton Bonham, Director of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Eric Sklar, President of the state Fish and Game Commission headline this year’s list of speakers and presenters.
The Forum – “Fisheries in a Changing Climate” will include presentations and discussion focusing on crab, salmon, lobster, sea urchins, aquaculture, seafood marketing needs and the Governor’s proposed damaging increases to commercial fishing landing taxes. The agenda features presentations by state agency leaders, commercial and recreational fishing representatives, aquaculture producers and fish processors.
“We have to protect and preserve California’s fisheries and we’re deeply concerned about the future based off of threats from the Federal Government and the exorbitant fees being proposed by the Governor’s Office,” McGuire said. “Next week’s Joint Committee will be focused on the current state of the Fleet and aquaculture industry, along with a look to the future and how we can work together to ensure its historic success.”
In addition to the disastrous seasons for crab, salmon, urchins and sardines, which are the result of poor ocean conditions the last few years, the Department of Fish and Wildlife recently proposed an excessive increase in commercial fish landing taxes to augment the department’s budget – a topic that will be raised at next week’s fisheries forum.
“Balancing a $20 million Fish and Wildlife budget shortfall on the shoulders of our commercial fishing industry – with landing tax increases exceeding 10,000 percent – is simply unacceptable and we will fight this proposal.”
The hearing begins at 12:30 p.m. and will be held in Room 2040 of the Capitol. The public is welcome to attend the hearing. There is no cost to attend.