General Fund for Marine Protected Area Monitoring
California Natural Resources Agency has received an ongoing allocation of $2.5 million dollars of General Fund, which is administered by the Ocean Protection Council, since Fiscal Year 2015/2016 to support marine protected area (MPA) monitoring throughout the state. For more information, visit OPC’s MPAs program webpage, and MPA Monitoring webpage.
General Fund to Address Whale and Sea Turtle Entanglement in Fishing Gear
The Budget Act of 2018 included a $7.5 million General Fund appropriation to OPC to address whale and sea turtle entanglement, with $1 million of the total amount directed to support sea lion and seal stranding rescue and rehabilitation activities. At the October 25, 2018 OPC meeting, the Council approved disbursement of $1 million to the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center to fund California Marine Mammal Stranding Network member activities for sea lion and seal rescue and rehabilitation. Additionally, in September 2018, SB 1017 (Allen) was signed into law to phase out drift gillnets in the shark and swordfish fishery. Public Resources Code Section 35651 directs OPC to provide $1 million of the $7.5 million appropriation to fund the transition program established by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) pursuant to Fish and Game Code Section 8583. At the February 2020 OPC meeting, the Council approved disbursement of $1 million to Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, the CDFW-identified fiscal agent, who will administer the program. At the OPC’s November 2019 meeting, the Council unanimously adopted a Strategy for Protecting Whales and Sea Turtles and Ensuring Thriving Fisheries: Reducing the Risk of Entanglement in California Fishing Gear to guide strategic and impactful deployment of the $5.5 million. Please visit the Sustainable Fisheries & Thriving Fishing and Wildlife Populations webpage for additional information on funded projects and related initiatives.