Court Rules Against California MPA Injunction

July, 2003

A Ventura County court denied the request of a coalition of commercial and recreational fishermen for a temporary restraining order that would have delayed closures of Channel Island waters as marine reserves. In his decision, Superior Court Judge Steven Hintz said: "Application for a temporary restraining order is denied. The court concludes that a stay is against the public interest; that plaintiffs will ultimately prevail in the litigation is not proved to be likely; and the interim harm to plaintiffs compared to the interim harm to the interests of the state is not proved to be comparably greater." At the root of the filing for a temporary restraining order was the legitimacy of last October's controversial two-to-one vote by the California Fish & Game Commission (with two voting members absent from the proceedings) to approve a set of fishing closures of the waters around San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa and Santa Barbara Islands, which includes 19 percent of the state waters from the surfline to the three-mile limit. The federal government is taking steps to close an additional six to seven percent of Channel Islands waters that fall under its jurisdiction. For a complete outline of the closures, log on to www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd.