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Mayor Bob Filner appeared yesterday afternoon (June 10) along with Jack Webster, president of the American Albacore Fishing Association and other Association members for a press conference held against the backdrop of San Diego’s tuna fishing fleet to celebrate a partial triumph in removing Canadian fishing vessels from what the Association says are overcrowded U.S. waters.

The Association, whose membership consists of 21 family-owned boats based in San Diego, had approached Filner requesting that he appeal to Secretary of State John Kerry with regard to amending or abolishing the U.S.-Canada Albacore Treaty, which allowed tuna fishermen from each nation access to the neighbor’s national waters and expired in 2011. The result was a large-scale expansion of Canadian fishing fleets into U.S. territory, which local anglers have said cuts into their catch.

“We have such a proud heritage here in San Diego from our tuna fleet and professional fishing,” said Filner. “But we have not worked hard enough to keep this profession alive.”

“We will not tolerate a so-called reciprocal relationship that puts American working people at a disadvantage,” Filner added.

A new agreement entered into by the two nations significantly reduces the number of Canadian boats that will be operating out of U.S. waters going forward.

“We stand firm in looking to have zero Canadian presence in our waters eventually,” said Webster during his turn at the podium. “But the fact that we did get some movement where the level of their boats was brought down is greatly appreciated.”

The current treaty lists 45 Canadian boats authorized to fish in U.S. waters beginning June 15 and running through September 15 of this year.

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Comments

Visduh June 11, 2013 @ 10:08 a.m.

While I can understand the jubilation of the local fishermen at seeing fewer Canadian boats in local waters, just why is Filner there? Does the city have any role in international treaties involving fishing? Uh, no. Maybe Bob forgets that he's not a congressman any more, and making this sort of appearance isn't part of being the strong mayor of a struggling city. He'd better spend his time tending to city business.

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Dennis June 11, 2013 @ 11:47 a.m.

Unlike most retired congressmen Bob is actually lobbying for the City of SD not some oil company.

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HonestGovernment June 11, 2013 @ 6:56 p.m.

I don't think it's unreasonable for a local organization to ask their mayor, a former congressman who has both praised, criticized, and worked with John Kerry, on various levels and issues, to put in a word in their behalf. It's actually wonderful to have a mayor who has political experience and national associations. It can't hurt!

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Peter Cacioppo June 12, 2013 @ 4:33 p.m.

I think Mayor Filner was doing what he should be doing: helping the City of San Diego and its citizens. Way to go Mayor!

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