Statement of Courtney Cuff on Marine Protection Plan for Channel Islands National Park

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   October 24, 2002
Contact:   Courtney Cuff, NPCA, 510-839-9922 ext. 21


Statement of Courtney Cuff on Marine Protection Plan for Channel Islands National Park

- Wildlife, residents, park visitors, and commercial fishermen can now thank the California Fish and Game Commission for protecting much of the waters off Channel Islands National Park. Situated at the junction of warm and cold ocean streams, the park's unique marine environment provides exceptional habitat and breeding areas for many aquatic creatures, including more than 20 threatened or endangered species. By creating no-take zones, where no sea life can be hunted, harvested, or captured, the commission will help reverse declines in marine populations. Federal agencies, including the Channel Islands National Park and the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, can now work hand in hand with the State of California to protect these zones.
Research shows that commercial and sport fisheries report greater catches of larger fish near marine reserves that include no-take zones. However, until late yesterday, only 1 percent of the Channel Islands area had been off-limits to all fishing. Now, the vast array of plant, mammal, and fish species that depend on these waters will have a better chance at survival, and visitors to the park for generations to come will have the chance to explore areas with some of the best diving and wildlife viewing opportunities in the nation.

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