Friday, April 13, 2007

Fishing Zones May Shrink

Based on new reports, ocean fishing zones off California may shrink to protect species.

Editorial: Hold the line
Will state vote to protect marine reserves?
Published 12:00 am PDT Friday, April 13, 2007

In a study published by the journal Science in November, marine biologists warned that every species now fished in the ocean will collapse by 2048 without stronger protections.

Among other measures, the scientists recommended that governments designate more marine-protected areas -- sections of the ocean and coastline where fishing is off-limits or restricted to only a few species.

To back up their conclusions, the Science authors analyzed several studies that have documented a growing diversity of marine species, more tourist dollars and fewer gyrations in fish populations in parts of the world where governments have created reserves or protected areas.

Meeting in Bodega Bay today, the California Fish and Game Commission has a chance to adopt the kind of conservation measures that leading marine scientists are advocating. The commission is expected to finalize the creation of 29 marine-protected areas along the state's central coast, stretching from Santa Barbara to San Mateo counties.