United Anglers of Southern California is the largest association dedicated to restoring California's fisheries and marine resources. We have an unparalleled record of achievement. More than a fishing club, our members have been working for almost two decades to protect fish stocks and valuable eco-systems. UASC has focused on a long-term goal of scientifically managing our fisheries to maximize their value to the people of California.
The seventies, eighties and nineties were tough on California's fisheries, they brought new commercial fishing gear and techniques that threatened California's fishery populations.
UASC entered two arenas that needed quick action.
First, we successfully used the initiative process and through proposition, 132 galvanized support against gillnets in our near shore waters. The result has been the removal of gillnets from our near shore waters and a marked increase in the local stocks, in particular Halibut and White Seabass.
Our second concern was an experimental longline fishery for mako sharks. This indiscriminate gear took a heavy toll on fish and mammals. Through our efforts, the California Fish and Game Commission closed this devastating fishery and headed off the problems that our East Coast is currently experiencing. United Anglers is the acknowledged leader for California's recreational fishery issues.
Recreational anglers are again faced with the potential of a devastating commercial longline fishery off the California Coast. United anglers is committed to removing that threat and will continue to oppose such destructive fishing practices. Today, United Anglers is leading the fight to keep pelagic longlines out of the 200 mile California Coastal (Exclusive Economic Zone) zone. To date, our members have sent more than ten thousand letters to our elected and appointed officials warning of the dangers of this destructive fishing practice. Our team has monitored the Pacific Fishery Management Council's planning process, and has orchestrated a broad based coalition to help steer the process from the direction dominated by the commercial fishing community to a more scientifically based conclusion. The Billfish Foundation, The IGFA, The Recreational Fishing Alliance, and the American Sportfishing Association are all on board with our efforts to halt the spread of this devastating fishing gear. When busloads of supporters where needed, UASC was there to ensure that the voice of the recreational angling community is heard.
Our work does not stop with the offshore species. UASC is dedicated to restoring a vibrant White Seabass fishery. Our members helped secure funding for the Hubbard Hatchery in Carlsbad and were instrumental in securing a White Seabass fishery management plan for the State of California. Our volunteers work with growout facilities from San Diego to Santa Barbara have helped grow and release over 400,000 juvenile White Seabass.
We are currently engaged in a program of habitat enhancement by building artificial reefs. We work in cooperation with the California Department of Fish and Game along with other state and federal agencies. These efforts will significantly improve our open coastal marine environment.
The road to healthy fisheries runs through Sacramento. United Anglers maintains present there to work within the legislative process.
The Marine Life Management Act of 1998 and the current "Rigs to Reefs" legislation are two major programs in which we have quite literally developed a blueprint for better marine management.
United Anglers programs are ambitious and successful. We are making a huge difference and, working together, we will continue to put fish back where fish used to be. Take this opportunity to join United Anglers of Southern California and associate with the premiere fishing conservation group in our state.
United Anglers of Southern California is a registered 501-c-3, non-profit corporation.