Local lawmaker helps create Spiny Lobster Commission - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Local lawmaker helps create Spiny Lobster Commission

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Assemblymember Monique Limón has helped create a Spiny Lobster Commission to support the local fishing industry.

Governor Jerry Brown has signed the bill, Limón announced Friday. She authored the bill and says it will aid local spiny lobster fisheries.

This is really an effort of the fishers, businesses and conservation groups coming together to proactively solve problems," said Assemblymember Limón. "With AB 944, the Spiny Lobster Commission will be able to carry out programs of education, marketing and research to promote our local product, and to do so in a way that is sustainable."

The commission will work to reduce entanglement of whales with lobster trap gear and study seafood safety amid biotoxin concerns, among other tasks.

"The Spiny Lobster fleet is a vital component of Santa Barbara's working waterfront, representing an estimated 30% of the economic value of our local catch. Making sure the Lobster Fishery has the resources and organizational capacity to be resilient and sustainable into the future will bring ancillary benefits to keep our port infrastructure going for all of our fisheries," said Kim Selkoe, Executive Director of Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara, Inc. and a marine scientist at UC Santa Barbara.

The news comes as the Santa Barbara Fishermen's Market is having its ribbon-cutting Saturday for a new fillet booth on the City Pier. Mayor Helene Schneider plans to attend at 9 a.m.

Spiny lobster season in California opened last Saturday. The new law takes effect January 1, 2018.

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