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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