The Pacific Region National Coalition for Marine Conservation (NCMC-PR) raised $120,000 Friday night at its seventh annual fund-raiser to support proper management of marine resources.
Visor caps and deck shoes among glittery gowns were the only immediate evidence of a preoccupation with the deep as 400 enjoyed Oceans Celebration '86 at the Irvine Marriott; honorary hosts were Buddy Ebsen and Merlin Olsen.
There were live and silent auction items worth $40,000, but most bidding interest was generated by an item entitling the buyer to a fishing position on one of 25 sportfishing yachts that will compete in the prestigious Tycoon/Fin-Nor North vs. South Billfish Tournament Aug. 16. The one-day annual event, also a major fund-raiser for NCMC, pits top sportfishing yachts berthed in harbors from Dana Point north against vessels and crews from Oceanside south.
Outgoing NCMC-PR president Jim Torre told the audience how he became involved with the group.
"I remember fishing off the Balboa Pier as a young boy and catching halibut, mackerel, sometimes albacore and tuna," Torre recalled. "In the early and middle '50s something seemed to be changing. The species were disappearing. By the end of the '60s, I knew there was a change and a big problem through mismanagement (of the ocean)."