Good evening, and thank you for coming to the first public meeting for the development of
the Spiny Lobster Fishery Management Plan! I'm Kristine Barsky, a senior marine biologist
with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and I am coordinating the development of
the plan for CDFW. Our meeting tonight is intended to introduce you to what goes
into a fishery management plan, or "FMP", and how it's developed. We will answer your
questions, and listen to your thoughts about what should be considered in the plan.
The Marine Life Management Act of 1998 requires the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to
develop fishery management plans for all of California's fisheries. The Act specifies what
needs to be included in the plan, and the way the plan should be developed. Kai Lampson
will be discussing those details after me.
When you leave tonight, we hope you'll be feeling positive about this opportunity to develop
a roadmap for the future management of the spiny lobster resource in California.
CDFW has already completed an initial lobster stock assessment, which provides
some of the information necessary to make sound choices about the lobster fisheries in
southern California. The good news is that the current estimated harvest of lobster appears to
Many of you are probably thinking, "Well, if it's not broken, don't mess with it." The FMP
process is our opportunity to take a close, hard look at how both the recreational and
commercial fisheries are being managed, and see if anything should be improved or changed.
If possible, the management plan will also provide guidance for how to respond to possible
events in the future, such as a major drop in lobster harvest success, or domoic acid toxin
occurring more frequently in the viscera of lobster, or a radical shift in commercial market
demand. We all know that the world around us is constantly changing and becoming more
interconnected by the day; the lobster resource and its fisheries are similarly being affected.
However, with your help, we can develop a FMP that will provide us with the information &
tools needed to respond to whatever the future might bring. The FMP process does not
necessarily mean that our current management will change dramatically; but it will provide
us with a process to consider how to manage better.
The development of a lobster FMP is a multi-year process. The current plan has the draft
FMP being presented to the California Fish and Game Commission for adoption at the
beginning of 2015. Any regulation changes that might be needed to improve management or
implement the plan would also be considered at that time.
The lobster FMP is being put together by a small, core staff of Department biologists,
including myself, Kai Lampson, Doug Neilson and Travis Buck. Tom Barnes is the manager
for state-managed species. We are being assisted by other CDFW staff as needed and several
CDFW is a partner with the Ocean Protection Council, which is charged with
coordinating the activities of state agencies that are involved in the protection and
conservation of ocean ecosystems. The Ocean Protection Council has provided the
Department with grant funds to contract out some of the tasks associated with the FMP under
CDFW's guidance. The California Wildlife Foundation is a non-profit organization
that was established to support programs of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and they are
acting as CDFW's fund manager for the Ocean Protection Council grant.
One of the major tasks that we've contracted for is facilitation. The public process is
critically important in the development of an FMP, and we want to make sure that everyone
has an opportunity to participate, so that everyone can support the plan. The facilitators are
here to make sure that everyone's voice is heard, and that the process remains objective.
CDFW's "agenda" is that we produce the best management roadmap (FMP)
possible in a fair and transparent manner. Our management objective is to develop a plan
that allows for the sustainable harvest of lobster into the future. We intend to take all the
comments and suggestions we receive and consider them as we develop the FMP, so it
represents the best information and science available.
CDFW felt that the creation of a Lobster Advisory Committee with representatives
from all the critical constituencies would improve the FMP process. The Committee will
provide us with advice, feedback, and recommendations regarding the issues and actions that
need to be taken during the development of a FMP. We wanted to keep the committee small
and balanced to allow for in-depth conversations. The Committee members will be
committing their time and energy to thoroughly reviewing the information that is contained
in the FMP.
CDFW has created a lobster FMP website to provide proceedings from all public
meetings and meetings of the Lobster Advisory Committee to those that are interested. We
intend to post draft chapters on the website as they're created. If you don't have access to a
computer, we'll mail you the information.
There is no magic template for public involvement. If we're missing something, or there is
another method, please let us know. The success of this FMP will not only ensure the
sustainability of the lobster resource, but serve as a guide for producing management plans
for other species. Without public input and support we won't be successful. Thank you for
participating here tonight; giving up you personal time for a meeting is a reflection of your
interest in California's lobster resource and fisheries. Thank you for being our valued
partners in the FMP process!
View a printer-friendly version of this introductory talk (PDF)
View a printer-friendly version of Kai Lampson's Planning Process talk (PDF)
Questions and Comments
April 18, 2012 - Oxnard Public Meeting
Note: These questions and comments are taken directly from the Oxnard Public Meeting, and have been summarized. They are not a verbatim transcript of what was said.
View a printer-friendly version of this summary of questions and comments (PDF)