Sea Otter Conservation

This is another good example of how environmental or wildlife concerns often directly end up going head to head with economic ones. Conservationists want to allow sea otters (a threatened species) back into southern California waters that have been prohibited to them for decades, but local fisherman are opposed to the move because sea otters eat sea urchins, crabs, lobsters and other “valuable” shellfish that comprise an important part of their industry.

Sea otters used to live along the entire west coast of North America, until the fur trade reduced their numbers by 99 percent in the 1700s and 1800s.

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“It is one of these difficult issues that pit the human use of resources against the recovery of a protected species,” said Chris Harrold, director of conservation research at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. “It’s a difficult issue for both people whose livelihoods it affects and people who feel endangered species recovery is important.”

Read the article on Discovery News for more information.

Image Source: Mike Baird/Flickr

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