Los Angeles County supervisors have added their opinion to the debate over where and how to protect marine life off the Southern California coast.
A state panel was supposed to have decided already where to locate marine protected areas in coastal waters from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border. But the panel delayed the decision. Members said they needed more science to back up each of the three different proposals they’re reviewing.
Now their vote comes next week. That gives the county and lobbying interests another opportunity to weigh in. Supervisors voted to support some restrictions off Point Dume in Malibu, though not as many as environmental groups wanted.
They also voted to support a fishermens' plan to leave the Rocky Point area around the Palos Verdes Shelf open. Fishing interests say that region is valuable to their interests.
Conservationists counter that it’s more important to preserve its biodiversity. The L.A. County supervisors’ opinion increases political pressure on the state panel, but it's not binding. The panel will unveil its plans next week.