I haven't seen decimation caused by otters

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Posted by Walt on March 14, 2005 at 22:59:30:

In Reply to: Re: OK. Just tell me one thing honestly. posted by Steve Shimek on March 14, 2005 at 22:27:42:

Had the pleasure to dive a few places along Big Sur with colonies of otters nearby. Wish SoCal had such luxurious dive conditions along the beaches...plenty of diverse life, healthy kelp, ... and otters.

Too often in SoCal I see more urchins than anything else. We wiped out their #1 predator when the otters were killed off, sure it led to a one-time boom for abalone, but Man (from overfishing, pollution, and subsequent disease in the remaining stock) pretty much managed to wipe out that species here as well. Now too often we find urchin barrens. The ill-conceived urchin smashing program actually produced more urchins, as smashing the urchins resulted in immense releases of eggs and sperm...result: even more hungry urchins to eat away the holdfasts and anything else.

Seeing otters is a sign that the overall water quality is improving and that is a welcome sign to me.

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