skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness; opening statements and first witness in NY trial; SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, with implications for unions on the line; rural North Carolina town gets pathway to home ownership.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court weighs cities ability to manage a growing homelessness crisis, anti-Israeli protests spread to college campuses nationwide, and more states consider legislation to ban firearms at voting sites and ballot drop boxes.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

CA coral reefs protected as new fishing areas reopen

play audio
Play

Monday, January 29, 2024   

Good news for fishing crews and marine conservationists: Large fishing grounds are reopening, while other areas receive new protections.

Some 4,500 miles of ocean fishing grounds off Southern California are now open to recreational and commercial fishing for bottom-dwelling species, and 428 miles of coral and sponge habitat are closed.

Geoff Shester, California campaign director and senior scientist for the nonprofit Oceana, said his organization has spent years mapping the seafloor, discovering colorful coral beds he said are "right out of a Dr. Seuss book."

"These areas have some of the richest gardens of underwater deep-sea corals and sponges anywhere," Shester reported. "We wanted to make sure that these areas had special protection, so that no bottom-contact fishing can damage some of these really sensitive 'redwoods of the deep sea.'"

The fishing grounds in question had been closed for 20 years to protect a species known as the cowcod rockfish, which has recovered from previous overfishing. The entire area is still closed to bottom trawling but the hook-and-line method and groundfish bottom longlines and traps are now permitted.

The areas now reopening include prime fishing grounds off San Diego. The eight areas to be newly protected are near the Channel Islands and far offshore seamounts, 100 miles from the coast.

Shester pointed out Oceana collaborated with commercial fishing groups and the State Department of Fish and Wildlife to determine the areas most worthy of extra protection.

"They went into place without opposition, because it was done in a thoughtful way where there were compromises made and we brought data and science forward," Shester recounted. "It's an example of how fishing and conservation groups can work together to support the shared goals of healthy fishing, as well as protecting seafloor habitats."

Deep-sea corals and sponges are a crucial part of the marine ecosystem, sheltering many species from predators and serving as feeding areas and nurseries. They are among the most long-lived creatures in the ocean.

Disclosure: Oceana contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Environment, and Oceans. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Several Mississippi correctional facilities offer both short-term (12 weeks) and long-term (six months) alcohol and drug programs with individual and group counseling for treating alcohol and drug addictions. (Wesley JvR/peopleimages.com)

Social Issues

play sound

Mississippi prisons often lack resources to treat people who are incarcerated with substance-use disorders adequately but a nonprofit organization is …


Social Issues

play sound

April is Second Chance Month and many Nebraskans are celebrating passage of a bipartisan voting rights restoration bill and its focus on second chance…

Health and Wellness

play sound

New Mexico saw record enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Act this year and is now setting its sights on lowering out-of-pocket costs - those n…


Migrants are put on buses from Texas to other states, often without knowing where they are going. (afishman64/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The future of Senate Bill 4 is still tangled in court challenges. It's the Texas law that would allow police to arrest people for illegally crossing …

Social Issues

play sound

Residents in a rural North Carolina town grappling with economic challenges are getting a pathway to homeownership. In Enfield, the average annual …

Social Issues

play sound

A new poll finds a near 20-year low in the number of voters who say they have a high interest in the 2024 election, with a majority saying they hold …

Social Issues

play sound

A case before the U.S. Supreme Court could have implications for the country's growing labor movement. Justices will hear oral arguments in Starbucks …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021