Fish and Game Commission Votes on New Effective Date for South Coast MPAs

Media Contact:
Jordan Traverso, DFG Communications, (916) 654-9937

The California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) today selected Jan. 1, 2012 as the effective date for implementation of the marine protected areas (MPAs) in Southern California. The revised effective date is for the South Coast Study Region, which spans from Point Conception in Santa Barbara County to the U.S./Mexico border.

On Dec. 15, 2010 the Commission adopted regulations to create a suite of MPAs in this study region. Developed pursuant the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), this network of 49 MPAs and three special closures covers approximately 354 square miles of state waters and represents approximately 15 percent of the region.

The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) requested clarification and further information, thus disapproving the original regulatory package. This ineffectuated the Commission’s previously selected implementation date of Oct. 1. All of the information requested by OAL is expected to be provided in time for the Commission to put the potential re-adoption of the regulatory package on its October agenda.

If re-adopted, the new effective date of Jan. 1, 2012, selected today, allows time for OAL to review and approve the re-submitted regulations, finalizing the lawmaking process. It also allows the Commission and Department of Fish and Game (DFG) to better inform affected ocean users of the new regulations.

For more information on the south coast MPAs or MLPA, please visit