Via Sondrak, who didn’t ‘splain it so I’s could unnerstan, some sort of good news from California.
U.S. scraps ‘otter-free zone’ in Southern California waters
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to allow sea otters to roam freely down the Southern California coastline, abandoning its program to relocate the voracious shellfish eaters from waters reserved for fishermen.
Federal officials determined that their sea otter trans-location program had failed after 25 years and thus they were terminating it, according to a decision published in the Federal Register on Wednesday.
“As a result,” the federal notice said, “it allows sea otters to expand their range naturally into Southern California.”
Federal officials turned Southern California into an “otter-free zone” in the late 1980s after moving 140 otters from Monterey Bay to San Nicolas Island, about 60 miles off the coast of Ventura County. The idea was to establish a reserve colony of otters in case a disaster, such as a catastrophic oil spill, wiped out the otters along the coast.
In a deal cut with fishermen, the government declared waters south of Point Conception to be off limits to otters. It promised to round up any that strayed into forbidding territory. Initially, officials attempted to capture and relocate these wandering otters to Central California, but some swam right back to Southern California. Others were found dead shortly after the move.
Because, like, you know, wild animals that live in the ocean can be restricted from swimming around in specified areas. For their own good. Because the government maybe cut a deal wit da union. So’s if youse ottas knows whas good for youse, youse won’ swim rown here no more. Capice?
So the feds made a sanctuary area, in case some “natural” disaster or other kind of terrible mishap messed up their regular natural habitat area. And snagged a whole bunch of sea otters and put them on some island in that sanctuary. Funny thing, being sea creatures, they swum right back to their regular old area. And got caught again. And swam right back ... until any number of them died mysteriously.
So for 25 years, the feds have been running a sea otter wildlife refuge area that never had any sea otters in it. And harassing a severely endangered species - often unto death - when they swam into ocean waters the government had agreed were reserved for shell fishermen.
Sea otters victorious in decades-long struggle with U.S. government
The long war between otters and the U.S. federal government is finally over, and the otters have won.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has abandoned its plan to relocate otters from coastal waters reserved for commercial fisherman.
For the past 25 years, the government agency had been working to relocate the otters, but was finally forced to admit the program had been a failure.
“As a result,” it allows sea otters to expand their range naturally into Southern California,” reads a notice published in the Federal Register.
In the late 1980s, the federal government attempted to relocate about 140 otters from Southern California’s Point Conception to a location in Central California. However, some of the otters simply swam back to their original habitat while others died shortly after being moved. Officials say part of the plan was to establish a reserve colony of otters in case a natural disaster were to strike their main habitat.
An August 2012 release from the U.S. Geological Survey says the wild otter population has been decimated from its previous heights, while efforts to rebuild the population have been “slow.”
So there you go. So everyone
otter be happy, sea ought to be happy, si? [resist Drew, resist!!]
Only problem is that the sea otters are still dying. And not breeding too well. Turns out they have brain parasites, Toxoplasma gondii, that they get from swimming in polluted water. Water that “treated” sewage is dumped into. The parasite lives in house cats, and gets into the water system when people flush the litter box contents.
Probably the only solution is to cook or boil the cat feces before dumping or flushing them. WTH, it’s for the endangered sea otters, after all. There’s
no otter way [must must must RESIST!!]
This story has absolutely NOTHING to do with Newtown CT or any stance on Gun Control.
And thank goodness for that. We need the break!
However, it’s only a matter of time before otters start getting caught in the commercial fishermen’s nets and drowned. Then we’ll see the imposition of OEDs (otter exclusion devices), similar to the TEDs—turtle exclusion devices—required of shrimpers in the Gulf of Mexico.
Why do I say that? Because I lived near the Gulf Coast in the early 1980s when TEDs were first mandated. I remember all the details and controversy as if it was yesterday.
Yes, I have turtle recall…
I KNEW that one was coming!!
We have a large population of the lil guys big brothers up here in Uregun (Sea lions) and actually a Cave where you can go down and see them ( except mostly never except during mating season). Did I mention the smell in that cave can kill a bull elephant? I was only 9 and it was so bad I held my nose the entire time.I will save you the trouble of Googling: