Overview of the Issue

The “30 by 30” initiative is a global goal to conserve 30 percent of all land and water on the planet by 2030.

In January 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order committing the United States to conserve at least 30 percent of lands and waters by 2030. In May 2021, the Biden administration launched the America the Beautiful initiative, outlining how the country can reach the 30 by 30 goal and calling for the states and tribal nations to be the primary driver of 30 by 30 policy throughout the country.

Before national efforts, California was pursuing a 30 by 30 initiative. In October 2020, following the defeat of a state bill that would initiate 30 by 30, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order dedicating the state to create to a 30 by 30 policy, becoming the first state to commit to the goal.

While ASA lauds the goals of 30 by 30, we have serious concerns over California’s implementation of the initiative and its possible negative impact on fishing.

What ASA is Doing

ASA is one of the original signers of Hunt Fish 30×30, which states that 30 by 30 policy decisions must recognize that hunting and fishing are well-managed and sustainable activities that can work in conjunction with other conservation goals.

In February 2020, California Assemblyman Ash Kalra introduced AB3030 in the California State Assembly, which requires California to protect at least 30 percent of all lands and waters by 2030. ASA opposed AB3030 unless amended, as the language of the bill was misleading and ambiguous and could cause a doubling of no-fishing zones in the state. AB3030 was successfully defeated before it could be signed into law.

Following AB3030’s defeat, on October 30, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed his Nature Based Solutions Executive Order, which directed the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) to conserve 30 percent of California’s lands and coastal waters by the year 2030. The signing of the order made California the first state to adopt a 30 by 30 policy in the United States.

In December 2021, the CNRA released their Pathways to 30×30 California, which states that marine protected areas (MPAs), many of which prohibit fishing, are the only management approach that can conserve marine biodiversity. 16 percent of California’s marine waters are part of the MPA network, meaning that California would need to double its no-fishing zones to meet CNRA’s 30 by 30 goal. ASA opposes this draft strategy and is engaging with the agency on an alternative measure that would protect fishing interests in the state.

In September 2022, CNRA announced 18 organizations were selected to serve 30×30 Partnership Coordinating Committee. This Committee will help the CNRA establish the 30×30 Partnership and foster communication with other organizations looking to coordinate on the state’s policy. Although it is unclear how these members were selected, none of the 18 organizations represent recreational fishing interests.

ASA and our partners throughout California will continue engaging with CNRA to advocate for science-based management of fisheries resources.

What You Can Do

Sign up to receive ASA’s Keep America Fishing Action Alerts to stay informed on the latest regarding 30 by 30 policy in California.


Until California ensures that sportfishing will be able to continue and thrive throughout the state, ASA will oppose the implementation of 30 by 30 in California. We look forward to keeping you informed about this important issue.

For more information, contact ASA Vice President of Government Affairs Mike Leonard.

Share This Issue, Choose Your Platform!
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Gulf Menhaden