Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Right To Fish?

Did you know you have a right to fish under the California Constitution? Article I, Section 25 states that "[t]he people shall have the right to fish upon and from the public lands of the State and in the waters thereof . . . ." So San Francisco attorney Karl Olson, no stranger to constitutional litigation, has filed a lawsuit against the owner, operator and pilot of the Cosco Busan, the tanker that one year ago today sideswiped a support tower for the Bay Bridge. The lawsuit was filed as a class action contending that the oil spill eliminated the plaintiffs' right to fish in part of the San Framcisco Bay. Here's a link to the article in the Chronicle describing the case, and here (thanks to Karl Olson) is a copy of the complaint. But does Article I, Section 25 contain a "state action" requirement? Stay tuned.


gt said...

The right to fish does not include a right to catch anything. It's a liberty interest, not an entitlement.

Steve Mayer said...

That must be right--who would you sue if you don't catch anything!