CLCV Launches SomethingsFishyAboutPSO.com

July 29, 2009

New Campaign Exposes Million Dollar Effort by Out-of-State Interests to Kill California Ocean Protection Efforts

SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) today launched a statewide campaign and Web site (www.somethingsfishyaboutpso.com) that unmasks the “Partnership for Sustainable Oceans” (PSO), an industry front group that is raising more than $1 million from foreign and national fishing equipment manufacturers, boat makers, and Washington, D.C.-based trade associations to torpedo California’s efforts to protect depleted fisheries and marine life off the Pacific coast. CLCV is the non-partisan political arm of California’s environmental community.

“Like the now-defunct Tobacco Institute, the PSO, despite its eco-friendly name, is nothing more than a front group for the fishing industry and boat manufacturers that are more interested in its short-term profits than the long-term health of California’s fisheries and marine life,” said CLCV president Warner Chabot. “Its misinformation campaign about the science of marine protected areas, and hefty campaign contributions from its backers to anti-environment candidates in California show this industry group’s true colors.”

Chabot says PSO and its financial backers have been involved in efforts to delist the Florida manatee from the Endangered Species Act, supported weakening the Marine Mammal Protection Act to allow killings of the protected California sea lion, and fought federal and state regulations to ban lead sinkers that have killed water birds throughout North America. They even opposed the Bush Administration’s minimal efforts to protect ocean life, including the establishment of the Mariana Trench National Monument and Rose Atoll National Monument off American Samoa in the Pacific.

“Our oceans are in danger and need protection,” says Chabot. “This out-of-state corporate ‘greenwashing’ campaign is attempting to undermine a process that has involved thousands of anglers, conservationists, and scientists from California over the past decade. No one should be fooled by PSO’s hardball tactics, which are designed to undermine common-sense attempts to rebuild sustainable fisheries off our coast. The oceans are in crisis and this front group is not part of the solution – it’s part of the problem,” said Chabot.

“This shameless front group has taken the extreme position that this state law should be suspended,” said Chabot. “This is an outrageous demand from an out-of-touch group of extremists. We’ve launched this Web site to expose these hypocrites and their key backers.”

PSO, notes Chabot, is financially supported by the fishing gear and bicycle parts company Shimano, whose U.S. operations are based in Irvine, Calif., along with dozens of other national fishing equipment manufacturers.

PSO is an offshoot of the Washington, DC-based American Sportsfishing Association and National Marine Manufacturers Association, a large contributor to anti-conservation candidates, including former California Members of Congress Richard Pombo and John Doolittle.

CLCV’s new Web site, www.somethingsfishyaboutpso.com, details the PSO backer’s anti-oceans track record, contributions by PSO backers to anti-conservation candidates, and other information. The California Fish and Game Commission has scheduled a hearing on the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) for Aug. 5, 2009 in Woodland, Calif. The legislation was passed in 1999 and signed into law by Gov. Gray Davis and has received the strong support of the Schwarzenegger Administration.

Since that time, dozens of stakeholder meetings have been held along the California coast to designate marine protected areas. These areas would help restore ocean life by limiting some commercial and recreational fishing in limited areas, but allow for many other recreational uses, such as boating and kayaking.

The California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) is the political muscle of California’s environmental movement. CLCV uses sophisticated campaign tools to help elect pro-environment officials – and to hold them accountable for passing legislation to protect health, communities and the environment. For more information visit www.ecovote.org.

SOURCE California League of Conservation Voters

Source: newswire

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