CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 1, 2013 |
Commercial fishermen have filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for abandoning a program to create an "otter-free zone" in Southern California coastal waters that sustain shellfish industries. The lawsuit, filed this week by the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of harvesters of sea urchin, abalone and lobster south of Point Conception, accuses the agency of illegally terminating the program without congressional approval or authorization.
May 24, 2013 |
Coursing through vast reaches of Alaskan tundra, glacial lakes and emerald forests, six major river systems converge along the rim of the Bering Sea to form the crystalline waters of Bristol Bay, the richest wild salmon grounds in the world. Yet if three global mining giants get their way, this region - one of the last truly wild places in our country - could be destroyed. Each year, up to 40 million sockeye salmon make the journey from deep ocean waters into Bristol Bay and, from there, upstream to spawn in the inland shallows of their birth.
May 10, 2013 |
Fishermen selling their own catch at Southern California farmers markets are vanishing. An attractive alternative is Community Seafood, a "community-supported fishery" that started selling last Sunday at the Santa Monica Main Street farmers market . Founded by two marine scientists, Sarah Rathbone and Kim Selkoe, it seeks to support local fisheries and provide ultra-fresh, sustainably caught fish to subscribers. Rathbone, the owner, is the fiancée of Charlie Graham, who formerly sold crabs and spiny lobsters at the Santa Monica market.
April 9, 2013 |
Federal budget cutters are merging the two West Coast administrative regions of the National Marine Fisheries Service, a move that could leave California at a disadvantage. The merger will create one administrative region for the West Coast, saving an estimated $3 million in management costs. Currently the agency has two West Coast regions: The Southwest, headquartered in Long Beach, oversees California. The Northwest, based in Washington state, covers Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
March 25, 2013 |
After years of depletion, California's fish populations appear to be bouncing back. A study this month by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that hauls by fishing boats, which had been down as a result of years of overfishing, have been growing, along with earnings. The agency credits catch limits that were mandated by law in 1996 and slowly implemented over the next 15 years. A February report by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that of 44 severely depleted stocks of fish nationwide that were under federal oversight, 48% had rebounded to target levels and an additional 16% had shown significant progress - a total of nearly two-thirds.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 27, 2011 |
Thick, tarry fuel oil disgorged into San Francisco Bay from a damaged cargo ship in 2007 was surprisingly toxic to fish embryos, devastating the herring population that feeds seabirds, whales and the bay's last commercial fishery, scientists reported Monday. Although the bay's herring spawning grounds are now free of toxic oil, studies have found that the moderate-size spill of 54,000 gallons had an unexpectedly large and lethal effect. The culprit, a common type of ship fuel called "bunker fuel," appears to be especially toxic to fish embryos, particularly when exposed to sunlight, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.