No-fishing zones stay put

State appeals court rules marine reserves do not violate state law

The no-fishing zones set aside by California’s landmark marine-reserves network do not violate state law, a state appeals court found on April 22.

The Coastside Fishing Club, based in Martinez, challenged the no-fishing zones with a lawsuit, arguing that many of the 124 reserves along California’s coast include the best fishing grounds, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The Fourth District Court of Appeals decision is a significant victory for environmentalists and biologists who maintain establishing no-fishing zones will allow marine species populations to rebound. The reserves ban or restrict fishing from shore to three miles off the coast in roughly 16 percent of state waters.

“What they did was like saying, ‘We’re only going to close 8 percent of California to driving, but it’s the 8 percent with roads,’” said Marc Gorelnik, an attorney for the Coastside Fishing Club.