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Fishermen to meet with governor
Ocean use debate


COOS BAY - It’s settled.

The final list of individuals invited to attend a meeting on marine reserves and wave energy has been more than two weeks in the making.

Many of the invitees have been involved in the ocean issues discussions already and will attend the conference with Gov. Ted Kulongoski on Nov. 1.

The event, announced recently by Sen. Joanne Verger, D-Coos Bay, will be held with just the governor and those invited at the table, the governor’s interim communications director Patty Wentz said Wednesday. Staff will be seated around the room, but it will be just the governor and members of the fishing industry talking, she said.

Wentz said the list of 14 invitees was put together with input from members of the Coastal Caucus and include people from all areas of the coast. Critics of the governor’s plan for marine reserves and the movement forward with wave energy also are on the list, she said.

The 14 people invited to Salem are:

n Scott McMullen, Astoria, chairman of the Ocean Policy Advisory Council;

n Frank Warrens, Portland, chairman of the OPAC Marine Reserves Working Group;

n Blair Minor, a commercial trawl fisherman from Astoria;

n Steve Fick, a seafood processor from Astoria;


n Bruce Buckmaster, Astoria, with Salmon For All;

n Linda Buell, a charter boat fisherman from Garibaldi;

n Al Pazar, Newport, chairman of the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission;

n Jeff Feldner, Newport, a commercial crabber and salmon troller and Oregon State University Sea Grant Extension Agent;

n Jeff Reeves, Charleston, a commercial crabber and tuna and salmon troller;

n Paul Merz, Charleston, a commercial salmon fisherman;

n Scott Adams, production manager at Hallmark Fisheries in Charleston;

n Paul Heikkila, Coquille, a commercial salmon troller and retired extension agent;

n Leesa Cobb, Port Orford, representing commercial fishermen; and

n Brad Pettinger, Brookings, administrator of the Oregon Trawl Commission.

Though the list is final, what may not be settled is any agreement on marine reserves and wave energy.

A few of the attendees have been outspoken about both issues at OPAC meetings held in recent months.

Verger said at a packed Aug. 22 OPAC meeting in Charleston that Coastal Caucus constituents have made it clear they’re unhappy with the marine reserves process and that OPAC and the governor’s office must work to gain back the trust of the public.

Fishermen have been more than critical about the threat of out-of-state companies filing with the federal government to place energy-generating structures — buoys or hard structures — in the ocean in prime habitat for Dungeness crab. Negotiations are continuing and recently, crabbers who fish near the Umpqua River worked with Ocean Power Technologies to at least look at placing the company’s wave energy buoys further out in the ocean.

However, marine reserves — areas in the ocean set aside with no activity such as commercial or recreational fishing — have been more controversial. Kulongoski has pushed, through OPAC, a fast-tracked plan for establishing marine reserves in Oregon’s territorial sea by the middle or end of 2009.

Several ports have come out against the idea. The Oregon Coastal Zone Management Association, representing several coastal municipalities, ports and districts, also weighed in on the issue when it met Oct. 12 in Reedsport.

“Be it resolved, that the (OCZMA) urges Governor Kulongoski to cancel or postpone the proposed public nomination process for marine reserves, scheduled for early 2008, to allow time to engage in a genuine dialogue with the impacted parties and local governments on the Oregon Coast about alternatives that incorporate local government and resident concerns and expertise, as required under ORS 196.420(6) and other established state ocean management policies,” the resolution said.

The resolution was unanimously approved.

Kulongoski forged ahead with his plans for protecting Oregon’s ocean in British Columbia on Tuesday.

Kulongoski and  British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell signed a memorandum of understanding in which the two governments agreed to “sharing a common ocean and a strong common vision for protecting the resource and the environment of Pacific Coastal jurisdictions,” and “sharing a common vision of Pacific Coast jurisdictions as the world leader in sustainable technologies and sustainable living.”

As part of that, they agreed to work together to take action on climate change to cap greenhouse gas emissions, reduce greenhouse gases from the transportation sector, pursue aggressive clean and renewable energy policies — “with a particular joint focus on policies to promote our shared interest in the promising ocean renewable energy sector — and build a Pacific “hydrogen highway” that would, by 2010, enable a hydrogen-fueled vehicle to travel and refueled from British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to California.

“We have both a moral and an economic imperative to do everything within our power to protect our shared climate and ocean,” Kulongoski said in a press release. “Now, more than ever before, we are all in this together.”

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