The California Fish and Game Commission held a public hearing in Sacramento last week to discuss a proposed network of marine protected areas in the state's central coast region.
The commission is reviewing six proposals and is expected to make its final selection by November.
At the hearing, the California Fisheries Coalition presented a commissioned report, which claims restrictions in five of the six proposals will suffocate California's $5 billion commercial and recreational fishing industry. This could subsequently have an effect on recreational boaters, the coalition said.
The study found that each proposal before the commission will equally benefit California's marine species. However, two proposals recommend closing 40 percent or more of the most productive fishing grounds.
The CFC supports a proposal known as the "fisherman's alternative," which takes into consideration existing ocean policy, regulations, protections and socio-economic impacts and their related costs.