Posted by Curt Billings on March 29, 2000 at 23:57:06:
In Reply to: Re: Do not support SB241! posted by Ken Kurtis on March 29, 2000 at 21:49:05:
Poaching is a crime and is a punishable act. This is a separate and solvable issue and is not a reason by itself to create marine preserves.
Hunting is a form of ones persuit of happiness and with a license from the Dept. of Fish and Game is permited within the defined regulations. Equate it to the permission you get from the State to drive a vehicle on the highway. When the willy nilly designation of preserves results in a taking of our freedom and the ability to harvest from the sea compare it to the closure of a freeway. Think of the 5 freeway as a jogging path, no cars. Actually my wife would love that on the weekends, but not on a workday.
The last revision to SB241 appears to be a bit authoritarian and a drastic measure that I am not convinced is warranted, for this situation. Certainly, if the pressure from harvesting at the rigs is too great for the fishery to sustain then the prudent procedure would be to reduce the limit of harvest quotas before you abolish the harvest outright. Let's not act irrational and go thermonuclear on the first strike before we understand what the target should be. Is the reduction of the fisheries mainly by commercial or recreational interests? And/or is our pollution the cause? Certainly the recreational impact is the least of these. Therefore, isn't the legislature overreacting by designating this preserve now, with the slip of last amendment, and is this because the legislature can't react to the difficult issues stated above?
The scallops found on the rigs are a renewable resource, this is obvious since the rigs have not been in place for more than a couple of decades. The fish that hide in these structures are renewable and provide a recreational activity for spearfishing groups. During the time the rigs have been in place they have had numerous cleanings, el nino storms have passed through, and hoards of dive trips of weekend hunters have taken there toll of scallops and fish. The rigs have been dove now for several years and the scallops are still there, the fish are still there, and the interest to dive the rigs is still there. Yours and my perception, or our observations, of the quantity of remaining marine life on the rigs may differ. However, whatever level of life that can be scientifically determined necessary to remain untouched, should benefit the community as a whole.
Today's oil rig diving interest is a combination hunters, photographers, and sightseers. By making the rigs a preserve removes a substantial part of the community interest. I think this latest revision to bill is drastic and certainly premature action. Unfortunately, the majority of legislature votes for passage of the bill appears to be at hand and the preserve is inevitable.
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