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Posted by Walt on March 16, 2005 at 17:35:09:

In Reply to: Huh. You Come on, now! posted by seahunt on March 16, 2005 at 12:52:23:

>The last time I looked at the California coast, there was a lot of kelp.
In many places, but I've seen the decimation of kelp forests her in SoCal where urchins have taken over (then moved on, leavnig a blighted wasteland)...urchins eat away the holdfasts!

>Apparently you haven't spent time in otter areas
Yes I have, though probably not as much as you. Along Big Sur (Limekiln SP area, Paddington Cove, Point Lobos) - otters, kelp, and good life. I know you dive a lot along the Cen/NorCoast; I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you've seen decimation - what sites? I'll dive them.

>There are no abalone, urchins, clams or other mullosks
Don't blame this on the otters; there can be other causes...disease, sea lions, pollution, plus humans decimated the abalone fisheries long before the otters returned. Plus how do you account for abalones in NorCal (where there are also otters?)

>Few and I have never in my life seen a human take a scallop near as small as an otter will
Seahunt, I have and it makes me mad evertime I see someone take a scallop where there are few to be for otters catch size - sure they'll take small ones..for heaven's sake they don't carry guages! Even known a lobster gatherer cheat on a measure? You know some do...probably far more than the few otter we have along the coast

>which ecology do you want?
I want the one where the coast looked like it might have before the white man came and messed it up by killing the ooters for their fur, for overharvesting abalone, sardines, you name it. Where we had free beach access and didn't have a row of condos keeping us off teh beaches that are rightfully the public's. Where we see the creatures there as they had lived for millennia before us (and hopefully someday for millennia after us). There is plenty to eat without having to feel you're in competition with an otter. Go get a cheeseburger.

Enjoy the diving (with the otters!)

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