California May Issue Further Fishing Bans
After a recommendation from the governor's Marine Life Protection Act Blue Ribbon Task Force, California may ban fishing in a network of protected marine areas. The goal is to protect diminishing populations of rock fish, sea lions, abalone, birds and other aquatic life.
The task force is urging the creation of 24 protected areas where fishing would be restricted or banned in state waters within 3 miles of shore. The proposal calls for nine marine conservation areas, two marine parks and 11 marine preserves. The combined areas would total fishing restrictions on 160 square miles of ocean.
The state Fish and Game Commission will hold public hearings in June, and consider three alternatives. A final decision is expected later this summer.
Last year, the commission established restrictions in 29 marine protection areas covering about 110 square miles along the central coast.