CFSB General Meeting Minutes, December 17, 2018

Minutes composed by Michael Harrington.

The meeting was gaveled to order at 1100 hours by president Chris Voss and Roberts Rules of Order were loosely followed.  A quorum was present and after approving the last meeting minutes we got down to business.  I think there were about seats filled.

0. Financial Report:  Harrington reported that all of the tenants in the Storage Yard were current with the rent.  This is a first.  Harrington also reported that because of 4 grants totaling $61,460.00 the CFSB balance sheet is looking better.  All of the grant funds are budgeted according to the specifics of each grant.  A 2018 donation of $1000.00 to the Maritime Museum was unanimously voted in and was included in the 12.17.18 P&L.  Andy suggested that safety would be a good ask to the cable committee.  It was noted that the CFSB financial situation has greatly improved with the addition of CFSB Executive Director, Kim Selkoe.

1. SB Foundation LEAF grant plans

We were successful with our latest grant proposal to the Santa Barbara Foundation for $20,000. This funding will support a 1 year scoping project to identify more space (and more permanent space) for our CFSB boat yard, and explore ideas to expand the utility of the boat yard into the ‘Fisherman’s Village’ multi-use facility. We have begun having meetings with the Waterfront department to identify how the City can support us in this process. See our proposal here.

Kim and Jeff Maassen attended ‘Fish 2.0’ an impact investing workshop for California fisheries projects. Kim focused on our proposal for dedicated space for gear and boat storage and Jeff focused on abalone and bivalve aquaculture and wild harvest shellfish opportunities that the Channel oil rigs could one day provide. The meeting was very valuable and we got some good leads on possible funding and partnerships. We have already followed up with the California Fisheries Fund and 2 possible financial advisors. All seem very interested to assist us.

We have also been given a heads up on a property at the corner of Cesar Chavez and Yanonali that was just renovated with a beautiful set of warehouses. The owner is underwater from the building costs and could be interested in selling or leasing. The owner is right now seeking an exemption from the Ocean-Manufacturing-1 zoning of the property, which requires the property to be used for maritime industry related activities. There is a precedent in which 2 other nearby properties have been granted this exemption. The owners simply can claim that the upgrades to the property make the rent too exorbitant to get a maritime oriented tenant. We plan to attend the hearing to point out that this is a serious loophole that undermines the function of the OM-1 zoning category. We feel its important to be careful not to antagonize the property owner, given his real financial hardships and the possibility we may someday be able to work with him.

2. Phase 2 lobster digital imagery project with TNC

This will begin in January. Intern Nicholas Piper will do the field work to collect the data, under supervision by Kim and Chris. The goals are to continue building the image library by adding another 6000 images from lobster landed in our port, and engage the fishing community in shaping the use of this new technology so that potential pitfalls related to data sharing can be avoided, and realistic applications for fisheries improvement can be identified. This work comes with $30,000 toward CFSB operating expenses and the expenses related to the project.

3. New Economic Impact Report preliminary results

Nicholas Piper has created an update to the 2014 Economic Impact Report by adding in data available from the Department for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. We have a rough draft; he is working on making some changes to the presentation of the charts and statistics. We will be asking fishermen for their assessment of the trends and what forces are behind them. We see this as a living document that can be used in many settings. We may also want to make a nicely formatted brochure as with the 2014 version, but this will be a cost.

4. Update on launch of Get Hooked Community Supported Fishery

The first 2 weeks of seafood delivery went really smoothly, thanks to the support of many fishermen and others in our harbor. We have decided to give our subscribers membership in CFSB for 1 year as a ‘port supporter’ (non-fishing and non-voting) category of membership. They pay $10 for this, all of which goes to CFSB. We are also asking that all fishermen we buy from have current CFSB membership. We have 43 members so far in a ‘friends and family’ 4 week pilot season. We will roll out a public launch in mid January, aiming for 200 subscribers and growing from there. See September 2018 meeting minutes for more detail on the structure and funding of Get Hooked.

5. Update on Box Crab:

Chris gave a brief summary about how the CDFW is conducting a huge experiment at the expense of the resource, fishery management in general and experienced fishermen with prior catch history.  The implications of giving permits to those with NO CATCH HISTORY over those fishers who promoted developing the fishery and have incalculable experience could well set a precedent that is as unthinkable as the current box crab management scheme.  The lottery awarded 8 permits, five of which were to those with NO CATCH HISTORY.  That precedent alone has implications beyond imagination.  They ignored Chris’s imploring to, at the very least follow current policy.  Ron Ellis, quite eloquently, voiced his consternation that the CDFW has reached a new low in common sense fishery management.

6. Update from Gary Burke: 

Gary, coming off the heels of Ron, took it a step further into the federal level.  Gary went to Washington DC, hoping to educate the law makers to the reality of modern sword fishing.  Gary said his take away from the whole experience is that the deck is stacked and that it basically is a game of attrition.  The buy out appears to be a pipe dream bandied about to get the pressure off the rule makers.  Unfunded buy outs coming to fruition are hard to find.

7. PCFFA board meeting report: 

Kim, Chris and Mike attended the PCFFA board meeting in SF.  A major topic was the possibility of bringing a lawsuit against 2 oil companies to recover losses related to domoic acid closures due to warming of the ocean linked to burning fossil fuels. The PCFFA is in the process of submitting a list of issues that would be befitting governor Newsom to address.  Someone wondered out loud where that list would end up. 

8. Other fisheries news

Electronic log books are on the way along with camera’s…get used to it.

Mike Conroy has a list of suggested topics for the Newsom Admin to focus on.

Safety grants from the county are slim and none.

Engine grants in other counties are more comprehensive than SB county.

Wind farms ARE going into fishing areas.  Mitigation is by negotiation and not being made public.

Coastal Conservation Association, a recreation fisher group, is expanding sphere of influence and needs com. fishers to guide them.