Stop Gillnets Now, a coalition leading the “Vote Yes on Measure 81” campaign to end gillnetting in Oregon, has announced its support for an alternative proposal that Governor Kitzhaber asked the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to aggressively pursue.
Coastal Conservation Association, Oregon originally continued its “Vote Yes on 81” campaign and monitored progress by the Fish and Wildlife Commissions. Now that CCA leadership has monitored Commission meetings in both Oregon and Washington, and met with Governor Kitzhaber, and expressed confidence that the proposals by the governors office will result in removal of gillnets from the Columbia River’s main stem.
Governor Kitzhaber credits CCA and Measure 81 for bringing this issue to the forefront and forcing action. The effort by CCA members to place Measure 81 on the ballot has established the organization as a significant entity in fisheries regulation and management.
CCA will now step back from the “Yes on 81” campaign and focus in support of the Governor’s plan. According to Dave Schamp, Chairman, CCA Oregon, this decision came after hours of analysis, discussions with partners and consultation with state and national political advisors. “Our Government Relations Committee has recommended and the CCA Oregon Board of Directors has unanimously approved this unprecedented action,” Schamp stated in a letter to CCA membership.
“This is not the end of the battle, but rather a transition to a new one. You can anticipate an intensive public education campaign to raise awareness of the evils of gillnets, “ said Schamp. “ We have the momentum and don’t intend to let up.
“This is truly an historic once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to significantly change fishery management policy in both Oregon and Washington.”