Posted by seahunt on March 16, 2005 at 12:52:23:
In Reply to: Re: Come on, now! posted by Walt on March 16, 2005 at 09:40:40:
>Ever eat sherbet or anything else with a
Actually, I was refering to species in the natural ecology of the kelp. Kelp does little for most of the animals of the kelp forest. That may be a surprise, but it is true. There are not teeth marks on kelp leaves.
We are not talking barren of kelp. The last time I looked at the California coast, there was a lot of kelp.
>Otters naturally leave a habitat if it is depleted...
What, no. Apparently you haven't spent time in otter areas. Go there and look for a calm spot near the shore. It will be littered with small (~1 inch and much smaller) mullosk shells. There are no abalone, urchins, clams or other mullosks. If they inhabit the entire coast it will all be depeleted like the current otter areas. They establish a balance of survival right at the edge of starvation.
>how many divers have you seen that will take the last rock scallop off a reef?
Few and I have never in my life seen a human take a scallop near as small as an otter will.
Reading what you say, I find it hard to believe that you have dove otter areas besides perhaps Monterey. Correct me if I am wrong, but if you haven't seen for yourself, go look. Then tell me what you think.
Usually an environment heavily impacted by humans is badly damaged and not healthy. The reef ecology is very ancient and not really well adapted to the late comer, the otter. As such, while the reef ecology with the otter is healthy, so is the reef ecology with out the otter. Perhaps it is more so. It seems like tit to me.
What it comes down to, admittedly quite selfishly, is which ecology do you want? Both are healthy.
Without otters, the diving and the harvesting by both sport and commercial interests can be good.
With otters, the diving is poor and less interesting. There is no sport or commercial harvest of the reef invertebrates.
Enjoy the diving, seahunt
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