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San Diego Marine Protected Areas Considered

State Agency May Decide Wednesday On Effective Date For MPA’s

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A recent report says marine protected areas play a key role in preserving ocean fish species.

A state agency may decide Wednesday when to enforce newly created protected areas from San Diego to Santa Barbara.

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California approved three marine protected areas for Southern California last December, including an area off San Diego's coast.

The State Fish and Game Commission is expected to decide when those protected areas will go into effect.

Ed Parnell, a marine ecology research scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, said the idea is to allow fish species to thrive while being off limits to fishing.

"The reserves were designed so that you could protect a certain breeding stock of animals within this area that's supposed to be off limits," said Parnell. "And it's a win-win for the ecosystem in terms of the productive potential of these different species."

He said several fish species off San Diego's coast, including some dwindling rockfish species, could benefit from a protected area.

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