Greater Protection For California Sea Otters

Natural History Wanderings

News Release Center for Biological Diversity

Court Ruling Means Greater Protections for California Sea Otters

Ruling Upholds Fish and Wildlife Service Decision to End Unsuccessful Program

SAN FRANCISCO— A judge on Friday upheld the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to end its program that relocated California sea otters from a significant portion of southern California coastal waters, important to the survival of the species, to an island off the coast with the goal of creating a second healthy population. As a part of this program, the Fish and Wildlife Service created a “no-otter zone” in response to complaints from fishermen that moving otters to a new location could interfere with their fishing activities. The “no-otter zone” provision removed the sea otters from their natural habitat and gave fishing groups exemptions from Endangered Species Act protections.

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