Recommend suspension of state support ($4.4 million General Fund and $400,000 special funds) for this recent public-private partnership initiative (2004) to help the state implement the Marine Life Protection Act. Funding in the budget year is for establishment of the marine protected areas (MPAs), not for long-term enforcement or management of them once established. There is no long-term comprehensive plan to finance administration and enforcement of the proposed MPAs. Other existing state fishing statutes (traditional fishing restrictions and the Marine Life Management Act) could be used to enforce fishing restrictions as an alternative to this proposal.
The Governor's May Revision proposes to reduce this program by $1.5 million. Should the Legislature approve this reduction, the total amount remaining for suspension of the program would be $2.9 million General Fund and $400,000 special funds.