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PNS Daily Newscast - September 21, 2018 


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Boaters Urged to Go Slow for Sea Otters

Photo: Boaters are urged to be careful around sea otters in and around Elkhorn Slough and Moss Landing Harbor where large numbers of otters and other mamals live. Credit: John Perry
Photo: Boaters are urged to be careful around sea otters in and around Elkhorn Slough and Moss Landing Harbor where large numbers of otters and other mamals live. Credit: John Perry
April 5, 2013

MONTEREY, Calif. – Go slow for the sea otter. That's what some Central Coast groups are asking anglers to do as they head into Monterey Bay.

Recreational salmon season opens this weekend, and wildlife experts are concerned speeding boats could put the threatened marine mammals in harm's way, especially in and around Elkhorn Slough and Moss Landing Harbor.

Jim Curland, advocacy program director for the Friends of the Sea Otter, says sea otters already face a number of threats, including pollution, disease and oil spills.

"Addressing those threats isn't always so easy,” he says, “but this seems to be something that is easy. You know, if we could get boaters to slow down, we could certainly minimize the potential for boat strikes to threatened sea otters."

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is also trying to get the word out, and the Moss Landing Harbor District will be on patrol to try to get boaters to slow down.

Elkhorn Slough is a no-wake zone, and speed limit signs are posted. But Curland says just like on the highways, not everyone obeys those laws.

"We've done various things in the past and put signs up that say slow down for wildlife,” he says. “And we just want people to realize, unfortunately it's not hard to hit an animal like a sea otter if you're going too fast."

Curland says Californians can help support the recovery of the threatened sea otters by contributing to the California Sea Otter Fund on their state income tax form.

"Money that comes in through contributions to this fund when people file their taxes helps sea otter research and conservation efforts," he says.

Recreational salmon season runs through the end of the month.





Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA