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Researchers take to skies to survey marine protected areas

by Molly Peterson | Take Two®

Research by the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission and others reveals that while fishing pressure has shifted location, the number and sot of places people seek a fishery hasn't shifted much. Molly Peterson/KPCC

Faced with dwindling fish stocks and degraded habitat, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife created dozens of marine protected areas off Southern California two years ago. With these closures, state officials want people to stay out of about 15 percent of the region’s coastal waters in an effort to make the ocean healthier.

Emerging science suggests new insights about how commercial and recreational fishermen are responding to the change.

Marine protected areas, scattered like scrabble tiles on the sea between Santa Barbara and Mexico take up more than 350 square miles. The easiest way to see that territory fast is from the sky.

KPCC's Molly Peterson reports

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