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Curbs on Southern California fishing: Environmentalists applaud, commercial fishermen fume

November 10, 2009 |  7:09 pm

Earlier this year, a documentary called "The End of the Line" explored the worrisome thought that the world's oceans could have their fish supplies decimated within the next half-century. Today in Southern California, that thought was on the minds of the members of a panel that met to discuss ways to keep fish populations swimming and fishermen in business.  Our colleague Louis Sahagun was there; here's an excerpt from his story:

Heal the BayIn a move greeted with scattered applause and boos, a state blue-ribbon panel late today voted unanimously to approve landmark fishing restrictions for the Southern California coastline, creating a patchwork of havens for marine life needed to replenish the surrounding seas while leaving some waters open for fishing.

The five-member panel, which convened at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles, voted to recommend to the state Fish and Game Commission a compromise intended to sustain the 250-mile coastline's economic and environmental health. The commission is expected to take up the plan in December. It has usually approved plans recommended by the panel.

In an interview, panel Chairwoman Catherine Reheis-Boyd said, "We're not going to make everyone happy, but this has to be done."

"It's agony to weigh the environmental goals against people's livelihoods," she said. "We have to consider the socioeconomic impacts, especially here in Southern California, where the urban-ocean interface is greater than anywhere else in the nation."


Photo: Darci Conner, marine planner for the Marine Life Protection Act, right, hugs Sarah Sikich of Heal the Bay after a vote by the California Marine Life Protection Act Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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