SACRAMENTO—Today, Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) sent a letter to an Assembly budget subcommittee to protest the Governor’s proposal to increase landing fees on commercial fisheries in order to balance the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s $20 million budget deficit. The proposal is being debated in today’s subcommittee hearing.
“As Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture and a member of the Assembly who represents nearly one-third of California’s coastline, I am adamantly opposed to the Governor’s proposal to increase landing fees on commercial fisheries,” said Wood.
The Governor’s budget seeks to address the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s $20 million structural deficit. “I recognize that the department’s budget is unsustainable and a solution must be found, but not on the backs of the men and women in California’s commercial fishing industry,” said Wood.
In recent years, California’s commercial fishing industry has been struck by one hardship after another. The drought has had a catastrophic impact on salmon populations, an outcome that will continue to affect salmon fisheries for years to come. Less than a year ago, toxic algae blooms caused the closure of crab fisheries along the North Coast. As a result, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce declared the season a federal disaster and made aid available to help those affected.
In the letter to the committee, Wood stated that another solution must be found and that “Exacerbating the financial hardships of an industry that has so recently suffered these crises in order to address the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s budget concerns is unconscionable.”
CONTACT: Cathy Mudge, (916) 319-2002
Since 2014, Assemblymember Jim Wood (D- Healdsburg) has represented the 2nd Assembly District, which includes all of Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt and Mendocino counties, plus northern and coastal Sonoma County, including the northern half of Santa Rosa.