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Letters: Sea otters vs. fishermen

May 01, 2012
  • A bill in the House would keep the coastal waters off Southern California off-limits to sea otters. (Reed Saxon / Associated Press
A bill in the House would keep the coastal waters off Southern California…

Re "GOP-backed bill would retain 'no-otter zone,'" April 27

I find it offensive that Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Simi Valley) would sponsor a bill limiting sea otters' reclaiming their historical range off Southern California.

The article states, "Fishermen say their livelihood would be hurt by the unfettered expansion of sea otters into their fishing grounds." Otters have been inhabiting "their" grounds much longer than humans have. Maybe we need a "no-fisherman zone" to protect the sea otters. In fact, they were here first.

The unfettered hubris of commercial fishermen, thinking they own everything in the sea, appalls me.

Mindy Taylor-Ross

Venice

There was no mention of recreational fishermen or seafood consumers in the article.

In 2010 there were 29,000 recreational lobster permits sold in Southern California and many more people who enjoyed eating freshly caught local lobster. Anyone who has ever visited Monterey and watched the sea otters ripping the legs off live crabs can have no doubt about the fate of Southern California lobsters if otters move in. There is ample evidence from California's central coast — where fisheries for abalone, Pismo clams and sea urchins have been lost — that shellfish fisheries are destroyed by sea otters.

It's easy to take the side of the cute sea otters, but let's be objective.

John La Grange

Solana Beach, Calif.

Now that illegal immigration of humans has declined, Gallegly and other Republicans are turning their attention to another serious threat: sea otters.

I would rather do without ordering California shellfish in restaurants than exclude otters from Southern California.

Norman H. Green

Los Angeles

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