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Old 08-14-2006, 06:31 PM   #1
scubapro5
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Thumbs down Plan to double no-fishing area released

Plan to double no-fishing area released
IT CLOSES A FIFTH OF WATERS AROUND CHANNEL ISLANDS
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Federal authorities have unveiled a plan to double the size of no-fishing zones around the Channel Islands to protect marine life.

Under the plan released Friday, about 20 percent of the waters surrounding five islands off Ventura and Santa Barbara counties would be closed to harvest.

It would double existing no-fishing zones to 309 square miles, setting aside 12 more square miles as a marine conservation area.

Under federal jurisdiction, the reserves would be established in deep water to complement the shallower refuges California created around the islands three years ago.

The strategy seeks to protect a variety of species including lobsters, rockfish and abalone.

``When you close areas, the data is clear that the fish and lobster are bigger and more abundant, there's a wider variety of species and kelp is richer,'' said Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Supt. Chris Mobley.

Joel Greenberg, chairman of the Southern California chapter of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, said he's not convinced.

``I am highly skeptical about the effectiveness of marine reserves, but not unwilling to look at it and try some to see if they do what they're purported to do,'' Greenberg said.

The alliance represents 80,000 members nationwide, including anglers, sport-fishing fleets and tackle manufacturers.

Details of the plan are contained in a draft environmental impact statement the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released Friday.

While the proposal has long been expected, the document identifies specific locations for the marine reserves and invites public comment on the proposal over the next 60 days.

The changes wouldn't take effect until after public hearings Sept. 26 in Ventura and Sept. 28 in Santa Barbara, and the approval of a final environmental document.

The plan completes an ocean management plan for the northern Channel Islands that began seven years ago. Different from many existing laws and regulations that protect specific fish species, it designates habitat for protection.
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Old 09-30-2006, 11:37 AM   #2
navyfish
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The worst part of this is the stewards of the Channel Islands sanctuary are performing duties that are outside of their framework rules. They do not have the right to expand the reserves but are doing so anyway because of the recent decision to close an additional 200 sq. miles of the central coast to all fishing. They feel the state will support them as they supported the biased closure of the additional 200 mi. reserve.
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