kelp at SBI

Scuba Diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by Brad on April 04, 2005 at 17:21:35:

In Reply to: Memorial Day Dive! posted by Walt on April 04, 2005 at 12:35:39:

in the early '80's you used to have to go about 3/4 miles off the east side of the island to get to sutil from the main anchorage. There was solid kelp 3/4 of a mile off the entire backside all the way out to the 7fathom spot. i remember when the Bluefin tuna would feed there for weeks at a time in the fall.

SBI was ravaged in the early '80's by trappers who decimated all of the shallow water fish and rockfish populations. that overfishing eliminated the natural predation of kelp-eating species. Not only that, the trappers and lobster fishermen used to lay their traps in the thickest part of the kelp. Every time they would pull a trap, they would bring up a huge amount of kelp. They used to keep machetes on the bow to cut the kelp away. Heck even today many dive boats actually anchor right in the kelp and most of them have machetes also!

i don't know how to breake it you gently, so i won't even try. PEOPLE were/are responsible for the massive loss of kelp at all of their historic beds! People pulled their pots, traps and anchors and literally YANKED the kelp off the bottom.

i am very glad to see it finally coming back, but it will last only until the fish come back, then the cycle will happen all over again...

btw, i watched this devestation with my own eyes as it was occuring...

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