“I prefer my Sea Otter in a nice stew, thank you!” In Our View – Santa Maria Times- Ensuring life for all creatures

Good news for the otter, however, is not such good news for fishermen, especial sea urchin divers, who insist that the otters decimate the shellfish population. They’re right about that dynamic, but unfortunately for them, otters were fissrewhing these waters eons before human divers came around.

The otter population is far from what it once was. By the time federal agencies began their attempt to relocate otters in an effort to save the species, the count had dropped from an estimated high of more than 16,000 in the late 18th century to less than 3,000. The dramatic depopulation was mostly a result of hunting during the early 19th century, in search of the otters’ luxurious fur.

This was a good year for otters, to be sure, but it looks like some fishermen will have to find a new way to earn a living.

And 2012 has also been a thumbs-up month for California’s marine reserve network, as the final piece of the underwater puzzle fell into place earlier this month in waters off the northern coast. Read More