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Marine Life

December 26, 2012
This is the strange story of the California sheephead - a strikingly colored fish that swims in the kelp forests and can grow to nearly 3 feet long - as told to me by a marine scientist when I was training to volunteer at the local tide pools. To keep the sheephead stocks healthy, the state set a minimum size for those that could be caught. But over time, experts noticed that the average size of the adults was shrinking. It was an undesirable and unintended consequence of the rules: Smaller sheephead were thrown back into the water.
December 19, 2012 | By Kenneth R. Weiss, Los Angeles Times
Surviving budget cuts, mobs of angry fishermen and death threats, California officials today completed the largest network of undersea parks in the continental United States - 848 square miles of protected waters that reach from the Oregon state line to the Mexican border. The final segment of marine reserves, along the state's north coast, becomes official today. Its 137 square miles of protected waters reflect an unusual agreement reached among Native American tribes, conservation groups and fishermen to preserve tribal traditions while protecting marine life from exploitation.
December 7, 2012 | By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
CAMP PENDLETON - Marine Cpl. Roberto Cazarez applied for U.S. citizenship shortly before he deployed for combat duty in Afghanistan. The expedited process allows enlistees who are permanent legal residents, like Cazarez was, to go to the head of the line for citizenship. Cazarez's application was pending at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services when he was killed by a roadside bomb blast in March, just weeks before his battalion was due to return to Camp Pendleton. On Thursday, in a short but emotional ceremony, Cazarez's widow was presented with a certificate indicating that her husband had been posthumously awarded his U.S. citizenship, retroactive to the day that he was killed.
November 11, 2012
In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, it's imperative for California to have more definitive knowledge about the seismic hazards near the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. An additional fault in the area was only recently discovered, and more seismological information is needed about existing faults. Technology has improved tremendously since the nuclear plant began operating in 1985, and license renewal for its two reactors - a process that takes years - shouldn't go forward without this information.
August 31, 2012 | By Holly Myers
"Buoyancy," a thoughtful selection of work by the late James Fee (1949-2006), explores the photographer's longstanding attraction to water and the sea. In Fee's moody, mostly black and white images of boats, ships, docks, bridges, islands, marine life and bubbling surf -- drawn from various series dating from 1992 to 2003 -- the show traces a poignant emotional undercurrent, one governed, in large part, by a fraught relationship with a troubled father....
August 16, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
The big heat gripping Southern California leaves me daydreaming about big ocean adventures, like this one in Honolulu. It's described as an underwater scooter and snorkeling experience in Maunalua Bay, where you can see fish and sea turtles up close. For a limited time, the excursion is on sale for $99 per person, courtesy of Travelzoo . The deal: The Travelzoo discount cuts the cost of this two-hour excursion in half. As always, you purchase a voucher that can be redeemed with the dive company Island Water Sports based in Honolulu.
August 4, 2012 | By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times
The Aquarium of the Pacific may finally get a direct line to the ocean. For years the Long Beach attraction has filled its complex of fish tanks and marine habitats with saltwater delivered by tanker truck or barge at a cost of up to $500,000 a year. Now, the aquarium and the city of Long Beach want to draw water directly from the sea, sucking in 50,000 gallons a day with a pump mounted under a fishing pier at the mouth of the Los Angeles River. The California Coastal Commission is recommending approval of the aquarium's new seawater intake system, with the panel scheduled to vote on the plan at its meeting Wednesday in Santa Cruz.
April 26, 2011 | By Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
"I've always been kind of a shill," says Ted Danson. "The guy out in front of the tent saying, 'Thank you so much for watching "Cheers," come on in and let me introduce you to the marine biologists who have something really important to tell you.'" The former Sam Malone might seem an unlikely environmental activist, but Ted Danson has quietly been advocating on behalf of our oceans for 25 years. Now he has taken his commitment to a new place: bookshelves. His recently released first book, "Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do To Save Them" (co-written with Michael D'Orso, Rodale, $32.50)
March 26, 2011 | By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times
Three dolphins died this month during a Navy training exercise using underwater explosives near the San Diego County coast, authorities said Friday. Scientists have yet to officially determine what caused the deaths at the Silver Strand Training Complex near Coronado, but examinations of the animals showed injuries consistent with blast trauma. The unit conducting the underwater training exercises March 4 had scanned the area and spotted no marine mammals before starting a countdown to detonate the explosives about 10:45 a.m., said Cmdr.
March 11, 2011 | By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times
Southern California researchers have found evidence of ingestion of plastic among small fish in the northern Pacific Ocean in a study that they say shows the troubling effect floating litter is having on marine life in the far reaches of the world's oceans. About 35% of the fish collected on a 2008 research expedition off the West Coast had plastic in their stomachs, according to a study to be presented Friday by Algalita Marine Research Foundation and the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project.
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