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New Marine Protected Areas In Effect Jan. 1

Department of Fish and Game wardens will enforce new rules and boundaries of marine protected areas in San Diego County and across the state starting Jan. 1.

Attention all swimmers, divers and fishermen. New rules and boundaries for marine protected areas such as Swami’s State Marine Conservation Area in Encinitas and the San Diego-Scripps Coastal State Marine Conservation Area in La Jolla go into effect Jan. 1, and the California Department of Fish and Game confirmed that wardens will be out in full force on New Year’s Day.

“While we are not having an enforcement grace period, a lot of the wardens will take whatever enforcement action they deem appropriate and sometimes that might just be education,” said Jordan Traverso, with the Department of Fish and Game.

Wardens, however, can issue warnings, citations and make arrests for noncompliance with these new regulations now that 2012 has arrived.

The new regulations were adopted under the California Marine Life Protection Act and affect a network of 50 marine protected areas in California's South Coast from Point Conception in Santa Barbara County to the Tijuana River Mouth at the U.S. and Mexico border. There are 11 marine protected or marine conservation areas in San Diego County.

Many fishermen and local fishing organizations expressed concerns over the new regulations. Talks of a protest on Jan. 1 were abuzz last week.

, a local fisherman, said while the MPA changes do not impact his fishing activities, he does expect heaving fishing pressures in the areas that he does frequent.

“Sport fisherman who fish the areas of South La Jolla, however, are impacted in a very big way, as they have lost an entire fishing ground,” Dumlao said by email. “Those sport fishermen displaced by the closure of South La Jolla will now merge with other sport fishermen in a concentrated open area adding more pressure to the already heavily fishing grounds of La Jolla.”

             San Diego County Marine Protected Areas Regulations Effective Jan. 1

Area Restrictions For Recreational Take Batiquitos Lagoon State Marine Conservation Area Take of all living marine resources is prohibited. Boating, swimming, wading, and diving are prohibited within the conservation area. Swami's State Marine Conservation Area Recreational take by hook-and-line from shore is allowed. The recreational take of pelagic finfish, including Pacific bonito, and white seabass by spearfishing is allowed. San Dieguito Lagoon State Marine Conservation Area

Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the recreational take of finfish by hook-and-line from shore and the Grand Avenue bridge. Boating, swimming, wading, and diving are prohibited within the conservation area.

San Elijo Lagoon State Marine Conservation Area

Take of all living marine resources is prohibited. Boating, swimming, wading, and diving are prohibited within the conservation area.

San Diego-Scripps Coastal State Marine Conservation Area

Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the recreational take of coastal pelagic species, except market squid, by hook-and-line only.

Matlahuayl State Marine Reserve

Take of all living marine resources is prohibited. Boats may be launched and retrieved only in designated areas and may be anchored within the reserve only during daylight hours.

South La Jolla State Marine Reserve

Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

South La Jolla State Marine Conservation Area

Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the recreational take of pelagic finfish, including Pacific bonito, by hook-and-line only is allowed.

Famosa Slough State Marine Conservation Area

Take of all living marine resources is prohibited

Cabrillo State Marine Reserve

Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Tijuana River Mouth State Marine Conservation Area Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except for the recreational take of coastal pelagic species, except market squid, by hand-held dip net only is allowed. And except market squid, by round haul net only is allowed.

A full list of regulations and maps for all MPAs can be found here.

Eric Simpson January 02, 2012 at 08:03 PM
As a recreational diver that gave up fishing and underwater hunting years ago, I'm quite pleased with these new Conservation Areas. I must admit though, that I'm a bit astounded (in a good way) at both the size of the Areas, and the fact that were actually, - finally! - negotiated into existence. Good job by all involved.

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