US Ends Failed Otter-Free Zone In California

Let the sea otter celebration begin! The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which had relocated the sea otters for 25 years in an attempt to help the fisherman, has given up.  

The federal notice trumpeted the agency’s decision: "As a result, it allows sea otters to expand their range naturally into Southern California."

In the late 1980’s, 140 sea otters were transported from Monterey Bay to San Nicolas Island because there was concern that if there were an oil spill, the otters would be wiped out. Meanwhile, the government promised fishermen that areas south of Point Conception would be otter-free. But the plan didn’t work because the otters simply swam back to Southern California.

Fishermen may be angry, but conservation groups are thrilled; Jim Curland, advocacy program director for Friends of the Sea Otter, rejoiced that the move was “long overdue.” And the sea otter party will continue long into the night, as we all contemplate the stupidity and inefficiency of the federal government.



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