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bri-oceanCongratulations to Briannon Fraley, Tribal Citizen and Self-Governance Director on her State Appointment to the Ocean Protection Council’s Science Advisory Team. The Tribe has been active in State Marine Conservation efforts with the goal of visualizing a healthy sustainable ocean. The relationship building between the State and Tribe is a long term process to protect inherent tribal rights to provide stewardship to the land and ocean and continue the use and access of ocean resources for the promotion of cultural use and subsistence.



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South Cape Mendocino MPA Photo by Rosa Laucci,
with aerial support by LightHawk

On a clear Wednesday morning at the Arcata airport, we boarded a red and white Beechcraft 35-A33 Debonair and proceeded to receive flight instructions from our pilot, Mike Venturino.

Jennifer Savage, Northcoast Environmental Center’s Coastal Programs Director, and I were heading out on LightHawk flight to conduct a survey of fishing activity in the Del Norte/Humboldt area and the weather couldn’t be more perfect. After all the pre-flight checks were complete, we taxied down the runway and took off, banking north. Our flight plan included heading north to fly over all the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) up to the Oregon border, and then we would head south to capture any activity in the South Cape Mendocino MPA, before returning to Arcata. All along our path we would keep an eye out for vessels, get lower for a better view of offshore rocks or boats and keep track of what we observe. Despite the beautiful, sunny, wind-free conditions along our entire flight path, there were only 8 vessels that we encountered, none of which were within any MPA, but noted on the datasheets just the same. Read more