SLO County fishing industry in peril, judge to consider injunction

May 12, 2024

Equinor’s Island Pride


Fishermen from Morro Bay and Port San Luis are seeking a preliminary injunction to stop wind energy companies from surveying the ocean floor. Local fishermen report catch numbers are down 67% to 70% since one company recently began using sonar off the coast.

On Feb. 29, two groups of commercial fishermen filed a legal challenge against the state’s wind energy plans, arguing the process violates their constitutional right to fish. The lawsuit asks the court to revoke survey permits and not to allow any new permits until proper mitigation and protections are in place.

The federal government auctioned off three offshore wind energy sites located between 20 and 30 miles off the coast near Morro Bay in 2022. Then in Dec. 2023, the state issued a permit allowing survey work to begin.

Equinor brought their survey vessel, Island Pride, to the Central Coast from Norway in April. The boat began survey work on the ocean floor on April 19. Since then, commercial fisherman report major declines in catch numbers.

Signed into law in Oct. 2023, Senate Bill 286 requires the statewide strategy to include best practices for addressing impacts to commercial and recreational fisheries regarding wind energy. Local fisherman argue the wind companies have failed to follow best practices.

The Morro Bay Commercial Fisherman’s Organization and the Port San Luis Commercial Fisherman’s Association responded to the survey work with a legal request for a preliminary injunction.

Sam Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen found this is a proper case for a preliminary injunction, according to an order to show cause. Judge van Rooyen ordered Equinor to show cause why he should not order the injunction at a hearing scheduled for May 15.

Geographic survey work by Equinor’s Island Pride last seven days

The California Constitution and the California Coastal Act both prioritize the protection and survival of commercial and recreational fishing. In addition, the public trust doctrine provides the “absolute right of the people to fish.”

“Without the relief prayed for herein, irreparable injury will occur in and to the public trust lands as a result of lack of adequate monitoring, the absence of enforceable, complete, or adequate mitigation, and the erroneous “scientific” assumptions not supported by substantial evidence that the conduct of site surveys will have no effect on commercial fishing activities, through port displacements of fishermen by survey vessels and support activities, and through irreparable injury to the viability of fish stocks and fish breading grounds,” according to the lawsuit.


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This can’t be true, the government said it would be good for all of us.

Follow the money.

I miss Happy Jack’s and the fishermen that made Morro Bay a town with character instead of liberal yuppie cesspool it’s become

Ha, ha, ha! Yes, I remember Happy Jack’s! Used to go dancing there and end up seeing guys get stabbed a bit quite often if I stayed long enough. Good times!

“Wind” offshore is all over Europe and seems to work.

Ironic as the fishing industry is responsible for 75% of the gabage patch in the ocean they’re “so concerned” about.

Way to take a global problem and make it seem like it’s local. Responsible commercial fishermen take their trash off the boat when they get in.

As the proverb goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” This wind farm plan is an abomination. Ask the fishing industry on the East Coast. This wind farm is chock full of big money and government subsidies that will produce little energy and be excruciating to the sea life. There is nothing natural about these noisy, vibrating, and polluting machines to be erected into the middle of one of the most beautiful and environmentally sensitive sectors of our planet. NO to this destructive plan. NO.

The sooner, the area is designated an official marine sanctuary, the better for everyone, including the fisher men and women. Otherwise, among other things, the fishery and entire ecosystem will be wiped out by aggressive overfishing and dredging by international companies. Our marine environment is a treasure that is priceless and we need to protect it.

You do realize that the wind farm has been carved out out of the CHNMS footprint right? Also, California has VERY tight regulations it’s pretty hard for us to over fish here in California. It’s pretty hard to make a living and this wind farm BS isn’t making it any easier.

Gee, didn’t they insist that the very loud sonar mapping, would have no ill effect on ocean life?

Remember, these pro-wind farm, pro-battery storage farm people, are the very same anti-nuke people that shut down sonar mapping off Diablo Canyon……..because it would cause ill effects to ocean life.

Actually, most of the anti-diablo people I know, which is a high number, are dead set against this wind farm. It is not a green project. It is a money sucking rip-off with a very high environmental toll and perhaps no appreciable return in energy. I helped shut down the lethal sonar testing at Diablo and I will help end it again now.

Join us. You may find we have great common cause after all. The “they” who are insisting that sonar testing is “safe” are not us. I suggest following the money on that one.