Saturday, November 14, 2009

479. The MLPA Laugh of the Day::: A Satire of the Excessive Parameterization of Kelp by the Science Advisory Team (SAT) [Go Dave Rudie!]

CAPTION: Bull Kelp! ::: Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Satire of the Science Advisory Team (SAT). The t-shirt design is based on a two-minute public comment of Dave Rudie, who is part of the Regional Stakeholder Group (RSG). This t-shirt is the beginning of my own little MLPA Campaign: instead of "MPAs Work" or "I Love MPAs," I thought up of the "Fish-in-a-Box" Campaign with a simple logo. I needed to incorporate some existentialism and absurdism (not to mention humor!) to the whole process.

Granted the November 10, 2009 Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) meeting (south coast Marine Life Protection Act) is done and gone and probably no longer on top of most people's plates... but I'm still in a mode of reflection.... Well, this process is a good chunk of my Ph.D. thesis... so maybe I can call this "delayed reporting." University research is known to lag behind the rest of societal operations anyway.

I was so impressed by Dave Rudie's 2-minutes, 2-cents worth of a speech (Dave Rudie is an RSG member who participated in the FIC/FIN group I took notes for, FIC = Fisheries Information Committee, FIN = Fisheries Information Network) that I went back to Cal-span ( to try and write down most of his speech, word for word. He illustrated two major points and with cunning wit, which ultimately left the whole room in a bellow of laughter. Too bad the Cal-span footage did not pick up the audio of a light-hearted room amidst a tense, high-stress process. See the quote below that's worth far more than two cents (slightly paraphrased; it's not exact)!

"My name is Dave Rudie, and I represent Catalina Offshore Products. I represent small family fishermen who are out there working on a daily basis. Most fishermen that sell to me are day-boat fishermen. They go out to catch sea urchin or lobster. And these are the men and women who are going to be the most impacted by these marine protected areas. They have fully engaged in the process. They are not opposed to the process. They participated. They unilaterally support Option 4 [San Diego?]. I undersand that that's been somewhat taken off the table, but that's what the hard-working fishermen support. Option 4. They support it because it meets the science guidelines best as we were given to us. We were told to protect all the habitats, not just the three forms of kelp habitats--

"Two of my sea urchin fishermen work in the northern part of the La Jolla area in Option 1. That northern part has a large population of sea urchins just outside the kelp bed. The divers wait until the sea urchins get to the edge of the kelp to harvest these sea urchins. If the divers are not allowed to harvest those sea urchins, these urchins will likely march to the klp as they have in many places in San Diego in the past. These sea urchins will not only eat the average kelp, but the maximum kelp, the persistent kelp, and the gap kelp--they would also eat the quality kelp. They would eat all kinds of kelp as the sea urchins march through that kelp bed.

Work Group 1 was supposed to come up with middle ground solutions. A win-win situation. Not a win-lose situation. Option 1--the old Proposal 3--is a win-lose. Win for the preservation community and lose for the fishing community. I am 100% against Option 1."

In the speech above, Dave Rudie harps on two main issues: (1) he represents small family fishermen, and these are the people who will be most impacted by the marine reserves, and (2) the excessive parameterization of kelp by the Science Advisory Team (SAT) had reached the brink of absurdism, and hence set up the joke of all jokes of everyone's last chance to speak before the BRTF made their decisions on an array of marine protected areas (MPAs). Mic Kronan, the harbormaster of Santa Barbara, also emphasized the holistic relationship between marine conservation and marine management, and over the course of the MLPA process, it seemed like marine / fisheries management fell into the limelight. Some speeches were conceptual and ideological... and some speeches were quite practical. I think Dave's was the most memorable of the ideological speeches.

I'll be putting up the maps (Option 1-2-3-4 references) in a near-future blog.

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