Paul Wellman (file)

No-Otter Zone Officially Ended

As expected, the quarter century-old plan to protect sea otters north of Point Conception while mandating that they be moved to San Nicolas Island upon entering the Santa Barbara Channel came to an end this week when the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service officially ended the “Southern Sea Otter Translocation Program” on Tuesday.

The move, which extends federal threatened species protections to otters everywhere, was widely praised by otter advocates, including The Otter Project and the Santa Barbara-based Environmental Defense Center, which sued the federal government to get this change made.

Commercial fishermen, meanwhile, fear that the otters’ voracious appetite will harm their livelihoods, a concern echoed by the federal assessment that the shellfish industry may no longer be viable along the mainland coast as otters extend toward Carpinteria and beyond.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Montecito Pushes Back on Streamlined Rebuild Process

Not so fast with fast-track rebuilding, leaders tell the county

St. George Files Suit Against Gelb for Unpaid Debt

Pair of Isla Vista landlords in legal tussle over property sales costs.

Thousands of Plaintiffs Added to Refugio Oil Spill Case

Litigation follows footsteps of 1969 Union Oil spill attorneys.

Push Comes to Shove Between Law Enforcement and Mental Health

County supervisors confront too many needs with not enough money.

Helicopter Hits Electrical Wires, Starts Small Fire

A crop duster hit power lines in Ellwood Canyon.