CCA CAL partners with Blue Latitudes Foundation in the hopes to convert decommissioned oil

platforms to fishing habitat to benefit ocean anglers

The Coastal Conservation Association of California (CCA-CAL), the largest non-profit

organization tasked with looking after the interests of recreational anglers, is encouraging all

recreational fishers in Southern California to participate in an online survey conducted by Blue

Latitudes Foundation. CCA-CAL hopes that the information gathered from these surveys will

positively influence regulators to convert decommissioned oil and gas platforms to reefs.

Many environmental and political organizations have been calling for the end of offshore

drilling in California in an effort to protect the California marine ecosystem and promote

alternative energy resources. In 2021, the Biden administration announced its intention to

permanently end all offshore oil and gas operations and end an era of offshore drilling that

started in the 1960s. California has 27 offshore platforms, many of which are scheduled to be

removed in the next 5- to 10 years.

Recreational anglers have benefitted from the marine habitats created by these oil

platforms over the past decades. Research has identified 79 fish species in the midwaters of

these structures, including calico bass, rockfish, cabezon, and sheephead.

“As regulators evaluate how various stakeholders value these platforms and better understand how their removal might impact them, recreational anglers must make their voices heard,”

says Wayne Kotow, executive director of CCA CAL.

Through the online survey, Blue Latitudes Foundation is conducting an analysis to assess

how California’s commercial and recreational fishermen utilize the fisheries resources

associated with offshore oil and gas platforms. “CCA CAL recommends that members and all

recreational anglers participate in this survey,” Kotow adds.

The California State Lands Commission, an organization committed to public safety and

environmental protection, will take a lead role in determining the future of California’s oil and

gas platforms. The State Commission has assured the public that they will conduct a transparent

and collaborative process with the local communities and stakeholders.

“Recreational anglers have lost a lot of fishing access to MPAs and regulations in recent

years.” Kotow says. “That’s why CCA CAL is committed to working with the State Lands Commission

to ensure it knows who we are as stakeholders and encourages regulators to convert these

platforms into thriving artificial reef habitats all anglers can access and enjoy.”

Blue Latitudes Foundation will be conducting stakeholder surveys through the end of

September 2022 and hopes to gather as much feedback as possible from recreational anglers.

Ultimately, this project will have a positive impact on the fishing community in Southern

California by not only educating fishers, but also giving them a portal through which their voices

may be heard regarding the future of the fisheries resources provided by California’s oil and gas

platforms. If you are a recreational angler and want to participate in this online survey, please

click HERE.

About CCA CAL: The Coastal Conservation Association of California was created in 2015

when recreational anglers and outdoors enthusiasts came together to work for the conservation

and enhancement of our marine resources and coastal environments. Today, the CCA-CAL is

working to protect not only the health, habitat, and sustainability of our marine resources, as

well as the interests of saltwater anglers. Our goal is to protect your access to the marine

resource you cherish and enjoy every day. CCA-CAL consists of members spread across seven

local chapters in Southern California and growing every day.

About Blue Latitudes Foundation: Founded in 2018, The Blue Latitudes Foundation is a

501(c)(3) non-profit organization organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific

purposes. We elevate the traditional concept of ocean stewardship by uniting government,

industry and the community to work together to conserve our oceans! In doing so, this

foundation strives to explore innovative solutions to traditional marine conservation challenges.