AB1949 set to help strengthen and expand OREHP Program
SACRAMENTO — California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed California Assembly Bill 1949 into law, paving the way for much needed help for the Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program (OREHP). As the longest-running program of its kind in the U.S., the OREHP program has historically taught many lessons in how to properly raise hatchery fish at a mass level and has helped species like the white seabass to rebound and recover.
“CCA CAL was a strong supporter of this legislation. Sportfishermen have helped move the white seabass hatchery program forward since even before the Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program (OREHP) was officially created in 1982,” said CCA CAL Chairman Bill Shedd. “One of the established priorities of CCA CAL is to enhance the population of inshore fish in California, and this can be done most effectively via the hatchery effort.”
“The new and improved program will continue to help us learn about how to replenish fish populations so that we can be better stewards of our marine resources,” said Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath, who was the author and introduced the bill back in January.
AB1949 will primarily change the statutory language of the current program and specifically:
- Clarifies that the director of OREHP has the authority to make programmatic decisions for the program, and limits the role of the advisory panel to advice to the director;
- Restructures the composition of the Advisory Panel members to include members of the commercial and sports fishing, commercial fishing vessels, and the public;
- Expands CDFW’s contracting authority under the program by authorizing the department to contract with any public or private entity to conduct research projects;
- Authorizes the department to accept volunteer assistance for program volunteers
As the bill sponsor, CCA California would like to thank all of our members, fishing clubs, and organizations for helping support this bill by submitting and signing onto letters of support, showing enthusiasm for the program, and volunteering to make the OREHP program a success in California. Also, special thanks to Assemblymember Boerner Horvath for helping us in getting AB1949 across the finish line.
For more information, please visit www.ccacalifornia.org.