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Monterey Fishermen Worry About Future

US - Tighter fishing regulations are ruining fishing boat businesses, according to one Monterey fisherman.

Pete Bruno, Monterey fisherman told The Monterey Herald that lower catch limits and restrictions on fishing depth have meant he has lost business.

He says that many customers do not want to pay to catch a few little fish. To substitute this he has started offering whale watching trips - however his business is faltering.

It is likely more regulations are on the way. In June, President Barack Obama appointed a 24-member Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force to develop recommendations for a new national policy that aims to improve the management of US waters.

Early next week, the task force will propose a process to help sustain ocean health in the face of a growing number of ocean uses, such as alternative energy, aquaculture, fisheries, oil and gas and recreation — a concept called marine spatial planning.

The goal "is to maximise the economic benefits we get from the oceans in a way that protects ecosystem health," said Aimee David, ocean conservation policy manager at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. "If we allow the marine environment to continue to degrade, we will see a loss of services we get from oceans."

It is hoped that the new regulations will create some new fishing opportunities for California fishermen. Increasing public and institutional awareness may help preserve and actually grow the fishing infrastructure, with the emphasis on keeping it sustainable.

the Fish Site Editor

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