Superior Court Judge Martin Tangeman upheld a state Department of Fish and Game rule that bans fishing nets in the shallow waters along California's Central Coast. The rule in waters less than 360 feet deep is aimed at protecting sea otters and other mammals from drowning.
A group of Morro Bay fishermen sued to have the rule overturned, and a trial was held July 1. The San Luis Obispo County judge issued his ruling July 11.
In 1991, nets in less than 180 feet was prohibited from Point Reyes in Marin County to Point Arguello in Santa Barbara County. The prohibition was increased to 360 feet in 2002.