SACRAMENTO - Assemblymember Boerner Horvath’s bill to strengthen the structure of the marine hatchery program in Carlsbad, AB 1949, was unanimously approved by the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee.
The primary hatchery facility for the Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program (OREHP) activities is the Leon Raymond Hubbard Jr. Marine Fish Hatchery in Carlsbad. The Carlsbad hatchery is the only marine fish hatchery in the state conducting research on marine species, their habitats and their survivability at a time when climate change severely strains the world’s oceans. AB 1949 ensures that the legacy of sustainability-based hatchery management can continue in coastal North County.
“I am proud to continue the good work of former State Senator Dede Alpert in support of the marine fish hatchery. The goal of this bill is to implement sound recommendations to ensure sustainable fishing,” said Boerner Horvath. “The program was established to evaluate the economic and ecological feasibility of releasing hatchery-reared fish to restore depleted, native, marine fish populations.”
In 2015, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) requested a California Sea Grant from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego to conduct a comprehensive review of the program. This review found the program could benefit from several improvements. AB 1949 strengthens the program’s advisory panel by facilitating a more direct decision-making process and providing stakeholders with more appropriate representation.
“I am pleased to join Assemblymember Boerner Horvath, conservationists, and the sports fishing community to provide more sustainable recreational opportunities through AB 1949. This legislation is a win-win for the natural environment and the economy, and it is my hope that today's action will encourage the entire Assembly to approve it soon," said State Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), a principal co-author of AB 1949.
"On behalf of the Coastal Conservation Association of California (CCA-CAL), proud sponsors of AB 1949, we thank Assemblymember Boerner Horvath for her leadership in moving this bill forward. The Southern California sport fishing community supports the OREHP because it is critically important to our marine resource. AB 1949 updates past Ocean Resources Enhancement Advisory Panel legislation so that it will be able to continue its valuable marine research well into the future.”
The department administers the hatchery program with the assistance of the 10-member of the OREAP. The program is primarily funded by revenue from the federal Sport Fish Restoration Act and sales of California Sport Fishing Ocean Enhancement Stamps. The Assembly Appropriations Committee will consider the bill next.