Eight marine science expert witnesses were called to testify before the Congressional Subcommittee hearing at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday. The expert witnesses spoke before the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Oceans at a field hearing that was the first of several the subcommittee expects to hold in various parts of the nation before introducing a bill to re-authorize the National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP). SantaBarbaraIndependent.com also wrote:
Witnesses told the subcommittee that the NMSP’s mission needed to be clearly defined as resource management primarily, and that the sanctuaries need more money for research and monitoring. They said that sanctuary managers needed the authority to more easily declare portions of the sanctuaries off-limits to fishing, in order to replenish diminishing species and the ecosystems of which they are part. They all agreed…that the Bush administration’s de facto moratorium on declaring new sanctuaries, by withholding money, needs to be lifted.