August 26, 2013

Sea otter documentary highlights the impacts that the Service's management zone decision will have on Southern California fisheries

By Jonathan Wood Attorney

Students from UC Santa Barbara have produced a documentary on the termination of the sea otter management zone, which PLF is challenging on behalf of four California fishing groups that are threatened with both the loss of their livelihoods and criminal punishment. The documentary does an excellent job explaining the human consequences of the Service’s unlawful decision. Of particular note, Steve Shimek, the founder of The Otter Project—which supports the Service’s decision—acknowledges that the fishermen have a very reasonable argument regarding the threat that the termination poses to their way of life.

Our video on the case can be found here.

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California Sea Urchin Commission v. Combs

When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asked Congress for permission in the 1980s to introduce sea otters into Southern California waters, Congress agreed but required protections for lawful fishing activity. In 2012, the Service declared that they would no longer honor the fishing industry protections. On behalf of sea urchin and abalone divers, lobster trappers, and other fishermen, PLF asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case to enforce the separation of powers in the Constitution. The Supreme Court denied the petition on October 29, 2018.

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