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New Times / News

The following article was posted on January 3rd, 2013, in the New Times - Volume 27, Issue 23 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 27, Issue 23

Fishermen rep steps down

BY NICK POWELL

Brian Stacy has resigned from his post as vice president of the Port San Luis Commercial Fishermen’s Association, citing a lack of support from the organization in his Dec. 27 announcement. Stacy was featured in a recent New Times article (“Fishing unfriendly waters,” Dec. 20) for his efforts to negotiate payments for fishermen to cover disruptions suspected to have been caused by Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s seismic tests.

The article mentioned Stacy’s plan to push for a Grand Jury investigation into PG&E’s failure to pay fisherman what he feels is just compensation for allegedly scaring away fish. Stacy also believes that the company made underhanded deals with state and local governments and certain fishermen associations. Those claims could not be independently verified.

Though the Coastal Commission didn’t approve permits for controversial high-energy seismic surveys, low-energy studies already happened with little public discussion. Stacy claims the tests were performed under an antiquated permit program without proper environmental review or plans to repay fishermen whose ability to catch fish were impacted. Representatives from PG&E said they followed the rules and noted that total catch actually increased during the testing period.

After the article ran, Stacy said he heard rumors that association fishermen who didn’t want a Grand Jury investigation were planning to initiate impeachment procedures against him. After consulting with friends, Stacy decided to quit.

“I have begged for help from the board and it fell on deaf ears,” Stacy wrote in his resignation letter.

David Kirk, president of the association, said he wasn’t aware of any plans concerning Stacy, but the organization has roughly 70 members, and he hadn’t talked to all of them.

“It came as a surprise,” Kirk said. “I thought he was a real asset. He did a lot for both Morro Bay and Port San Luis fishermen. … He worked harder on this than I did all along.”