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California Acts to Protect Marine Life

By wiccania     Apr 14, 2007 in Environment
California Fish & Game Commission votes to restrict and/or ban fishing in areas off of central California.
Taking steps to protect the diversity of marine life off the coast of California, an area of more than 200 square miles is now restricted. A decision that has drawn praise from environmental groups.
The Fish and Game Commission unanimously designated 29 marine preserves between Santa Barbara and Half Moon Bay, 13 of which would be off-limits to all anglers, commercial and recreational. Deep water fishing would be prohibited in the rest.
The plan is the first piece envisioned in a statewide network of similarly protected areas. Commissioners and environmental groups praised its passage at a meeting in Bodega Bay as a landmark for ocean conservation.
Not everyone is happy about the new regulations. Representatives for commercial and sport fishermen have raised the question of the economic impact that such a big restriction could bring. Also pointing that the restriction includes areas where there is no risk to the fish population.
"There is no question there is a pretty significant economic consequence to what the state is doing," said Steve Scheiblauer, harbormaster for the city of Monterey.
Scheiblauer predicted that 30 of the 100 commercial fishing boats that operate out of Monterey harbor would leave in search of more promising waters, meaning less of the fresh local fish that draws tourists.
I can certainly see both sides of the argument. It's great that the Fish & Game Commission is taking steps to protect marine life, and I certainly applaud their effort and intentions. But it seems as though they might be taking it to an extreme. What will the cost to the coastal towns that rely on fishing for their livelihood be?
Wouldn't it be better for the Commission to work with the fishermen on this and come to a compromise that would allow for both the protection of the marine life and the fishermen to make their living? Just my thoughts on the subject.
More about Fishing, California, Restrictions