South Coast fishermen, battling efforts to lock up large swaths of ocean, need all the help they can get. Leaders of the region's largest town should be key allies of this important local industry.

Instead, Coos Bay's city council has (perhaps unintentionally) joined the other side. Last week it directed City Manager Rodger Craddock, who serves on a regional advisory committee, to vote for creating two marine reserves off the local coastline.

Fishermen and their supporters are rightly astounded.

Conservation activists are pushing for a 'network" of reserves up and down the Oregon Coast. The rationale for locking up resources is a belief that current practices imperil the ocean. Like an article of religious faith, this belief is embraced as unassailable truth despite an absence of supporting evidence.

No one has demonstrated a need for reserves along Oregon's coastline. There's no doubt, however, that closing off fishing areas will harm commercial fishing and tourism.

The Legislature already has created two reserves, one at Depoe Bay and the other at Port Orford. These reserves' stated purpose is to serve as pilot projects, so scientists can study the biological effects of blocking commercial and recreational use.

Although the cash-starved state budget has yielded no money to study these first reserves, the crusade to create more of them gallops forward.

The Coos Bay council's surprising decision last week appears to be based partly on confusion. Some members may have thought they were voting to extend the discussion. In fact, they put the city on record as a supporter of ocean lockouts.

Citizens should call their council members and ask them to support local fishermen. A heavy turnout at next week's council meeting might help as well. The council has time to reverse its decision, and it should.

(6) comments

snapguy

Here's a view of how Port Orford fishermen have handled the marine reserve issue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4pSY6ZYfdo

realitybites

The underlying facts of the editorial are correct. There's almost no science supporting reserves. There's a total of only two data supporting hypotheses that marine reserves can "seed" areas outside, and no data for environmentalists' other claims about reserves. The rest has been modeling and activist hype, not science.
Oregon should study reserves it already has, like Whale Cove, closed since the mid-1960s and still unstudied, or Gregory Point research reserve here at Cape Arago.

Just An Observer
Just An Observer

Do some research before writing your editorials. There's been plenty of established scientific data gathered and it tends toward the good that properly set up and patrolled marine reserves bring. We already know how the fishermen will fish out an area if they are left to do so and that's proven FACT. Ask about where the sea urchin harvest is in Port Orford if you want a local depleted fishery to look at.

EM

This "editorial" is a very poorly and thinly disguised attempt by the World to run free advertisement for someone/something they are trying to curry favor with. There can be no other explanation? Basically, they are saying that some heartless, faceless, foreign entity is coming to "our" ocean to steal it from "us" for no scientific or economic reason but to be evil. Are you kidding? Not all of the people here are that naive! At least they could make some semblance of trying to be unbiased!!

snapguy

Here is accurate information on this issue. The World pretty much reeks with the stench of Limbaugh, Fox News tactics. Locking up huge swaths, and suggestions that somehow "THEY are after us" in this regard are gross misrepresentations. How do you scribes manage to deal with the guy in the mirror? How can you possibly like him?

http://www.portofcoosbay.com/marineres.htm

recfisher

The World should be ashamed. This type of opinion just furthers the polarity on this issue and is full of misinformation. It is simply trying to insight more anger and apprehension in an already highly emotional issue.

To say that the communities around Coos Bay will be negatively affected by a closure of less than 1% of the territorial sea between Bandon and Reedsport is ridiculous! There is no socio-economic or biological data that supports there would be a negative impact, none.

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