To appease fishermen, Fish and Wildlife banned otters in 1987 from California waters south of Point Conception near Santa Barbara -- with one exception.[ ... ]
Fearful that an oil spill could wipe out otters elsewhere, the agency tried to create a reserve for 150 otters on San Nicholas Island, about 80 miles south of Santa Barbara.
The otters didn't play along. Some swam up to 200 miles to return to native habitat along the Central Coast.While I can understand fishermen being irate at having competition, I can't see much in the way of an alternative.
Fishermen and seafood processors say federal officials never did enough -- and complain that lobster and urchin fishing could be devastated if otters continue roaming Southern California waters.