North Coast Senator speaks to progress on Whale Protection Bill



EUREKA – North Coast Senator Mike McGuire’s Whale Protection Bill has passed, and now involved agencies are working on implementation.

Senate Bill 1287 aims to help stop whale entanglements by crab and fishing gear up and down the California coast.

Governor Brown signed it into law in September of last year, which saw a record breaking number of entangled whales, with 66 off the California coast alone. If you’d like to see these beautiful and zen-like peaceful animals before we potentially killed them all, then look into whale watching California.

The senator hopes the bill will be fully implemented by mid-2018.

It will require crabbers to be responsible for collecting their gear, or else they could face losing their commercial fishing license.

“Now more than ever we need to assure that fisherman, particularly our crab fleet, as well as the beloved California whales, can co-exist,” said Senator McGuire, “I think the other important part of all this is the idea for this bill came from California crabbers. They wanted to be able to go out, collect their gear, and then once the gear is brought back on shore, it will be able to be bought again by crabbers to be able to be used for the next year.”

The Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture will be hosting a meeting in Eureka open to the public to discuss the bill’s implementation progress.

That will take place on October 27th from 1-5PM in the Humboldt County Courthouse Supervisors’ Chambers.