Crab disaster will headline Thursday’s Fisheries Hearing

Fisheries experts from throughout California to testify at annual forum

Monday, February 8, 2016

Sacramento, CA – Senator Mike McGuire, chairman of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture, will convene the 43rd annual Fisheries Forum this Thursday, focusing on the need for a crab season disaster declaration and will call on several industry experts and state agency leaders to discuss the short and long term impacts to fishing families, the California coastal economy and the future of fisheries and aquaculture.

“There is no greater issue right now impacting California fisheries more than the unprecedented delay of this year’s crab season,” said Senator Mike McGuire. “It’s time that a disaster is declared so we can start delivering desperately needed assistance to fishermen, their crews, and local businesses who are struggling. Fishermen are losing homes, racking up debt they can’t afford, and selling off assets, and the impacts are even greater in coastal towns that depend on a healthy crab harvest for their livelihood.”

The 43rd Annual Zeke Grader Fisheries Forum, scheduled for Thursday, February 11 at the State Capitol, will include presentations from John Laird, California’s Natural Resources Secretary, and Charlton Bonham, Director of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, as well as commercial and recreation fishing representatives, river advocates, aquaculture producers and fish processors.

The hearing begins at 10 a.m. in Room 112 of the Capitol. The public is welcome to attend. The hearing will also be livestreamed on the State Senate’s website at

The agenda also includes a ceremony to honor longtime fisheries advocate Zeke Grader, a briefing on the harmful West Coast Algal Bloom, a crab fisheries update, salmon fisheries presentations, and aquaculture reports.

The list of speakers includes:

  • John Laird – Secretary, Natural Resources Agency      
  • Charlton Bonham – Director, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Dr. Clarissa Anderson – Assistant Research Faculty, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz
  • Rachelle Fisher – Administrative Team, California Dungeness Crab Task Force       
  • Tim Sloane – Executive Director, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations       
  • Lori French – President, Central Coast Women for Fisheries       
  • Don Marshall – Board Member, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations
  • Dr. Walt Duffy – Chair, California Advisory Committee on Salmon & Steelhead Trout        
  • Mike Ricketts – Chair, California Salmon Stamp Committee        
  • Errin Ramanujam – Associate Scientist, Ocean Science Trust       
  • Randy Lovell – Aquaculture Coordinator, Department of Fish and Wildlife, Aquaculture Development Committee
  • Dave Bitts – President, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations       
  • John McManus – Executive Director, Golden Gate Salmon Associatio
  • Tony Vaught – Director, California Aquaculture Association        
  • Dr. Michael Graham – Director of Research & Development, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories Center for Aquaculture        
  • John Finger – Owner/Partner, Hog Island Oyster Compan
  • Pete Halmay – Board Member, San Diego Fishermen’s Working Group        
  • Shad Catarius – President, San Diego Oceans Foundation        
  • Ben Platt – Board Member, California Salmon Council         
  • Bob Bertelli – Vice-Chairman, Sea Urchin Commission         
  • Dave Rudie – President, California Fisheries and Seafood Institute

Sitting on the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture with Chair McGuire are: Vice Chair Assemblymember Jim Wood, Senator Jerry Hill, Senator Jim Nielsen, Senator Fran Pavley, Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian, Assemblymember Philip Ting, and Assemblymember Das Williams.

For more information about the Fisheries Forum visit the Committee web site at: