SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California says a 5-year scientific assessment of marine protection zones off the Central Coast has found that some struggling fish species are showing early signs of recovery.
Joined by scientists and state wildlife officials, California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird on Thursday called the research promising, saying the data appear to show Marine Protected Areas are furthering conservation and benefiting the state fishing industry’s long-term outlook.
California implemented a patchwork of zones along its 1,100-mile coastline where fishing is banned or restricted. The first collection established in 2007 stretches from San Mateo to Santa Barbara counties, and was the target of this in-depth study.
The study found increases economically important fish species including lingcod and black rockfish in protected zones as compared with similar areas outside of them.