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New California Law Allows For Fish Markets

California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins was in San Diego Friday celebrating a recently signed law that allows communities to have fish markets.

Photo by Erik Anderson

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins celebrates new statewide fish market law at San Diego's Tuna Harbor on Oct. 16, 2015.

The "Pacific to Plate" bill was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last week. Speaker Atkins wrote the legislation in an effort to make it easier to set up fish markets in cities like San Diego.

A local fish market has been running under a temporary permit for a year at Tuna Harbor. Boosters wanted to connect the local fishing fleet directly with customers.

"That's part of why it had to be done in code, to ensure consumer protection, public safety and that's why the county of San Diego is involved," Atkins said. "There is a link, much like there are with farmers markets. You have to go through a process."

Peter Halmay fishes locally and pushed the idea for a long time.

"It's where the fishermen bring their catch and you buy directly from the fishermen," Halmay said. "They not only sell you the fish, they tell you how it was caught, where it was caught. And you're assured that there hasn't been eight or nine hands to touch this fish."

State officials predict other communities in California will likely set up similar markets now that there's a statewide law.

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Erik Anderson
Environment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI focus on the environment and all the implications that a changing or challenging environment has for life in Southern California. That includes climate change, endangered species, habitat, urbanization, pollution and many other topics.

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