SAN DIEGO: Hundreds of people weigh in on marine life plan
By Deborah S Brennan /North County Times /October 20, 2010
More than 700 people weighed in Wednesday on plans by the California Fish and Game Commission to protect marine life by expanding coastal areas that limit fishing and other activities.
Wednesday’s meeting at the Four Points Sheraton in San Diego was the final hearing before the commission votes Dec. 15 on whether to approve a system of marine life protected areas. The plan would replenish failing fisheries by setting aside 16.5 percent of Southern California’s offshore habitat, more than doubling existing reserves. Fishermen say the plan would place a stranglehold on their trade.
Anglers, divers, surfers, environmentalists and schoolchildren crowded into a conference room, filling about 500 seats, the remaining floor space and outside patios.
Fourteen Fish and Game wardens patrolled the meeting, watching for confrontations between speakers and conferring with the San Diego fire marshal about safety issues in the packed hall.
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