To most of us, the word “sanctuary” conjures up images of a sacred, protected place. But in the case of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, that is unfortunately not the case.
You might be startled to hear that this “sanctuary” still allows for destructive activities like bottom trawling, which destroys deep sea corals, sponges and other important seafloor habitat that is home for much of the life in the sea. Similarly, drift gillnetting — a fishing method known to catch and drown seals, sea lions, dolphins, porpoise, turtles and whales — continues to this day in “sanctuary” waters.
Now, imagine a sanctuary that truly lives up to its name. A place of refuge for the diverse and wonderful marine life that inhabits it; a place that supports vibrant coastal communities, including providing opportunities for sustainable commercial and recreational fishing.
Establishing Marine Protected Areas in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary would move us toward this vision. This kind of true protection is currently being debated, with the future of the Sanctuary hanging in the balance.
Please send a letter to let decision makers know that you want genuine protections for marine life in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, including establishing or extending state Marine Protected Areas into the Sanctuary.