On March 27, the California Sea Urchin Commission announced plans to sue the federal government over the recent decision by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to end the quarter-century-old “no otter zone” south of Point Conception. The commission’s “notice of intent” argues that populations of black and white abalone were not properly considered in the decision, which provided the threatened southern sea otter species the same level of federal protection everywhere. This week, Friends of the Sea Otter pledged to “take all actions necessary” to fight back alongside the feds, and it called the commission’s filing “just another attempt by a segment of the fishing community to prevent sea otter recovery to advance their narrow economic self-interest.”


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