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Posted by seahunt on March 14, 2005 at 11:07:29:

In Reply to: Sea Otter at PV posted by Labugman on March 14, 2005 at 07:42:30:

Sometimes lone males will take off for extended trips. Hopefully it is just that.
While the law is written to say that the otters will not be allowed to expand beyond Point Conception, I doubt that those charged with enforcing the law ever had any intention of enforcing it. They have already come up with their prepared excuse for why they cannot relocate otters that go below Point Conception. "They might get harmed by the stress of moving them."
Otters are one of the few animals that are more damaging to the environment than humans (think on the scale of mongooses and rats in Hawaii or rabbits in Australia.)
The policy of saying that they will be relocated is impractical, because if otters find a good food source, there is nothing that will stop them from covering huge distances to get to it or back to it. Their normal survival state is at constant near starvation because of their rapacious eating habits.
Otters would go through the Southern California reefs like you wouldn't believe. Realize that in an otter area, you will probably not even see one purple urchine. They eat everything and they eat it when it is first big enough to eat. Have you seen where the Coronodo Islands are stripped clean by overfishing? The effect of otters is worse.
As Tom Clancey said, "tubular rats", big sea going tubular rats.
Otters that stray below Point Conception must be harvested and a very controlled market for their pelts must be developed or perhaps even allow sport hunting. That is the econoimic and environmental reality.
Enjoy the diving, seahunt

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