Morro Bay opts not to host second Marine Sanctuary forum

The proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary would stretch 140 miles along the coast from Cambria to Santa Barbara. The proposal has been nominated, meaning it’s in the queue for consideration, but no formal designation process has begun yet. The proposal’s concept is to protect a diverse ecosystem from oil drilling, seismic surveys and other potential impacts, while encouraging scientific research. Coastal wildlife includes dolphins, whales, white sea bass, sardines, mackerel, kelp and elephant seals. Fishing industry leaders, however, are concerned that a sanctuary would lead to more fishing restrictions and believe existing governmental protections — such as trawl closure areas, rockfish conservation areas and marine-protected areas — are sufficient. They also believe that adding a new federal regulating agency would reduce local influence over offshore policy. Read the rest here 06:47

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