California has permanently banned fishing in 175 square miles of ocean around the Channel Islands, creating a network of marine reserves that will enable a wide range of species to recover from decades of overfishing. In the next year or two, the U.S. government will decide whether to expand the network of reserves into federal waters, which begin three miles off shore; under such an expansion, the network could grow to 426 square miles, making it the largest protected marine area in the continental U.S. Only about 1 percent of the world’s oceans and less than 0.02 percent of California’s are now off-limits to fishing. Nonetheless, fishers were angry about the decision, calling it a threat to their livelihoods. But state Fish and Game Commissioner Bob Hattoy said, “California once again is in the vanguard of environmental protection. This is good for the fish, good for the fishermen and good for future generations.”