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OPINION
August 4, 2013
Re "No-otter zone is sought by lawsuit," Aug. 2 I was the chief negotiated for affected fishermen before Congress established the "otter-free zone" off the Southern California coast in 1986. But in 1993, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service abandoned that program. Before the passage of Public Law 99-625 in 1986, our legal counsel at the time, the Pacific Legal Foundation, determined that the proposal to translocate sea otters to San Nicolas Island violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Attorneys for the Interior Department agreed.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 14, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
A $21,000 reward is being offered to help find who shot three California sea otters found dead last fall on a Monterey Peninsula beach, federal wildlife authorities announced Friday. One male sea otter was found dead along Asilomar State Beach in Pacific Grove on Sept. 3, 2013, and  the other two males were found dead two days later in the same area, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said. Two of the furry marine mammals were shot in the head while one was shot through the back, necropsies showed.
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NATIONAL
October 24, 2009
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 2013 | By Melissa Pandika
Fertilizer runoff has led to a global decline in sea grass meadows, which provide crucial habitat for fish. But thanks to sea otters, these meadows are flourishing in Elkhorn Slough, a major estuary in Monterey Bay, scientists say. Fertilizer from farms in Salinas flows into Elkhorn Slough, carrying phosphates and other nutrients that fuel the growth of algae on sea grass leaves. As the algae blooms, it shades the sea grass from the sunlight it needs to grow. In fact, nutrient levels are so high in Elkhorn Slough that scientists wouldn't expect sea grasses to survive there.
NEWS
July 11, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
Three North America river otters have turned up in San Francisco, but not in the bay. Shasta, Tubbs and Wildcat swim and slide through a new exhibit called "Otters: Watershed Ambassadors" that opened last month at the Aquarium of the Bay on Pier 39. The otters, smaller and sleeker than their ocean counterparts, are named for Bay Area watersheds. Why? Because the aquarium wants visitors smitten with the adorable otters and their playful demeanor to care about their habitat too. “The protection and conservation of the watershed is crucial, and this new exhibit gives us the perfect opportunity to engage our guests and share this message with them,” said John Frawley, president and chief executive of Aquarium of the Bay and The Bay Institute . The $1.3-million expansion that opened June 28 includes habitat with dry land and freshwater pools filled with minnows and crayfish.
OPINION
October 10, 2005
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has committed another major blunder. The Oct. 3 article, "Efforts to Restore Kelp Suffering Growing Pains," blamed the disappearance of Southern California kelp on "marauding sea urchins." The Oct. 6 article, "Agency Seeks to Lift Otter Ban," discussed the failed attempts at keeping threatened sea otters out of Southern California to help fishermen. What do otters eat? Urchins. For heaven's sake, Fish and Wildlife, put your heads together and go "duh"!
NATIONAL
November 11, 2012 | By Joan Cary
With an expert's eye, trapper Irv Schirmer spots the pieces of fresh willow floating in a pond near the town of Marengo and notes the worn shoreline and flattened grass trails that run to the banks of the nearby Kishwaukee River. These are telltale signs of unwelcome visitors - the beaver and another critter that Schirmer is eager to find, the river otter. Starting this month, new opportunities await him with the opening of the state trapping season, the first time that it has been legal to trap otters in Illinois in 83 years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 14, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
A $21,000 reward is being offered to help find who shot three California sea otters found dead last fall on a Monterey Peninsula beach, federal wildlife authorities announced Friday. One male sea otter was found dead along Asilomar State Beach in Pacific Grove on Sept. 3, 2013, and  the other two males were found dead two days later in the same area, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said. Two of the furry marine mammals were shot in the head while one was shot through the back, necropsies showed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 3, 1992
I think catching otters for fur is a big problem. Otters have a family just like us. Otters will not hurt people if people don't hurt them. I think we can stop catching otters by not making a big deal about fur coats. Jackets and sweaters are plenty! YUKIKO UCHIDA Oxnard Editor's note: These Letters to the Editor come from E.L.M. Street School in Oxnard. E.L.M.--Educational Learning Magnet Intersession--is a new school in the Oxnard School District that offers 10-day sessions for students who are between terms in the all-year school system.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 13, 1988
During a recent current events session in my class at Eastshore Elementary School, it was brought to my attention that 69 California sea otters were taken to San Nicholas Island to be saved from oil spills. However, 13 of the otters swam away, 10 died, 14 are still alive and 31 are unaccounted for. I don't think it's a good idea because they lost a lot of them, and don't you think that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would get the idea that they don't want to be removed from their natural habitat?
SCIENCE
August 26, 2013 | By Melissa Pandika
Fertilizer runoff has led to a global decline in seagrass meadows, which provide crucial habitat for fish. But thanks to sea otters, these meadows are flourishing in Elkhorn Slough, a major estuary in Monterey Bay, scientists say. Fertilizer from farms in Salinas flows into Elkhorn Slough, carrying phosphates and other nutrients that fuel the growth of algae on seagrass leaves. As the algae blooms, it shades the seagrass from the sunlight it needs to grow. In fact, nutrient levels are so high in Elkhorn Slough that scientists wouldn't expect seagrasses to survive there.
OPINION
August 4, 2013
Re "No-otter zone is sought by lawsuit," Aug. 2 I was the chief negotiated for affected fishermen before Congress established the "otter-free zone" off the Southern California coast in 1986. But in 1993, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service abandoned that program. Before the passage of Public Law 99-625 in 1986, our legal counsel at the time, the Pacific Legal Foundation, determined that the proposal to translocate sea otters to San Nicolas Island violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Attorneys for the Interior Department agreed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 1, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
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.
NEWS
July 11, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
Three North America river otters have turned up in San Francisco, but not in the bay. Shasta, Tubbs and Wildcat swim and slide through a new exhibit called "Otters: Watershed Ambassadors" that opened last month at the Aquarium of the Bay on Pier 39. The otters, smaller and sleeker than their ocean counterparts, are named for Bay Area watersheds. Why? Because the aquarium wants visitors smitten with the adorable otters and their playful demeanor to care about their habitat too. “The protection and conservation of the watershed is crucial, and this new exhibit gives us the perfect opportunity to engage our guests and share this message with them,” said John Frawley, president and chief executive of Aquarium of the Bay and The Bay Institute . The $1.3-million expansion that opened June 28 includes habitat with dry land and freshwater pools filled with minnows and crayfish.
SPORTS
February 21, 2013 | By Dan Loumena
Meet Eddie the sea otter. If you're truly a sports fan, he's about to become your favorite creature, because Eddie can dunk a basketball on a hoop in his pool at the Oregon Zoo. That's right. Check out the video above. Eddie, who was a rescue from the coast of California, rises out of the water clutching a miniature basketball and dunks it through the hoop. As Dick Vitale might say, "Awesome, baby!" And if you don't think it's awesome, take the advice of Neil Everett of ESPN and "take some awesome lessons.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 2012 | By Kenneth R. Weiss, Los Angeles Times
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to allow sea otters to roam freely down the Southern California coastline, abandoning its program to relocate the voracious shellfish eaters from waters reserved for fishermen. Federal officials determined that their sea otter trans-location program had failed after 25 years and thus they were terminating it, according to a decision published in the Federal Register on Wednesday. "As a result, it allows sea otters to expand their range naturally into Southern California," the notice said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 20, 2001 | From Times Staff, Wire Reports
River otters attacked a 17-year-old houseboat vacationer in Redding, biting and puncturing her skin more than 30 times. The severity of Monday's assault was unprecedented, wildlife officials said, though three major incidents involving otters have been reported at Shasta Lake in the last month. Erin Vanduzer was taken to Redding Medical Center, where she received more than 40 stitches, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman said. She is also receiving rabies treatments.
OPINION
March 9, 2002
Re "Local Fish: Will Their Fate Be Sealed?" March 5: This letter alleges that sea otters, seals and sea lions are responsible for reductions in fish and shellfish populations, stating further that this is "well documented." On the contrary: otters, seals and sea lions have coexisted with the fish and shellfish for millions of years. Human overfishing has caused declines. Paul Cooley Culver City
SCIENCE
December 19, 2012 | By Kenneth R. Weiss
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to allow sea otters to roam freely down the Southern California coastline, abandoning its program to relocate the voracious shellfish eaters from waters reserved for fishermen. Federal officials determined that their sea otter trans-location program had failed after 25 years and thus they were terminating it, according to a decision published in the Federal Register on Wednesday. "As a result," the federal notice said, "it allows sea otters to expand their range naturally into Southern California.
NATIONAL
November 11, 2012 | By Joan Cary
With an expert's eye, trapper Irv Schirmer spots the pieces of fresh willow floating in a pond near the town of Marengo and notes the worn shoreline and flattened grass trails that run to the banks of the nearby Kishwaukee River. These are telltale signs of unwelcome visitors - the beaver and another critter that Schirmer is eager to find, the river otter. Starting this month, new opportunities await him with the opening of the state trapping season, the first time that it has been legal to trap otters in Illinois in 83 years.
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