State to Protect Coast



The State Fish and Game Commission has approved a sweeping plan to create marine reserves and protect up to 20 percent of the coast from the San Francisco Peninsula to Mendocino County. According to the Contra Costa Times, the fishing industry had lobbied for a less restrictive plan, but ultimately the department sided with environmentalists who want to protect marine wildlife and allow depleted stocks of rockfish, abalone, and Dungeness crab to rebound. The plan imposes a permanent ban on fishing within three miles of the coast and sets up a network of environmental reserves that conservationists say is the most ambitious coast marine protection program in the world, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.