Fishermen in Santa Barbara Harbor are still starting their motors to head out into the channel for the day's catch, despite being among the first to feel the economic punch of the Plains All-American Pipeline rupture back on May 19.
Within hours of the spill's discovery, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife began closing portions of the channel to commercial and recreational fishing. At least one local fisherman, Santa Barbara resident Stace Cheverez, has already filed a lawsuit in federal court against the pipeline operator over his diminished fishing capacity and is inviting others to join it.
Chris Voss is President of the Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara, and says the closure hurts his members financially, and the spill hurts the area's reputation.
"It's a seriously significant seafood source because of the Channel Islands, we produce a lot of darn seafood," said Voss, who left Santa Barbara recently for salmon fishing season in Alaska. He says he's concerned this spill will have lasting effects.
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