Posted by SLANG on March 30, 2000 at 14:47:52:
In Reply to: ...support SB241! posted by kelphead on March 30, 2000 at 12:12:58:
>"The oil companies do not have the interests of divers in mind!"
>gee wiz, well what interests DO these oil companies
>have when they will presumably be giving up their
>claim to these oil rigs after all is said and done.
>do i smell a conspiracy theory here?? if so, bring
>it out into the open and we'll discuss it. i just
>don't understand your implication that the oil companies
>have some sort of nefarious design when they are
>the ones giving up the oil rigs to the dive community.
>please elaborate on what exactly their interests truly
I imagine the oil companies' interests in promoting the "Rigs to Reefs" program may stem from the millions of additional dollars they will save on each platform for not having to remove the pilings and return the environment to its original state as per the requirements of their original lease agreements. Don't misunderstand their support as some sort of altruistic benevolence, they benefit more than anyone else if upon their departure they are allowed to leave the platform pilings intact.
That being said, I have no problem with making these rigs a "no take" zone. As you know, Kelphead, I am a hunter. And even though hunting is not always the primary objective of my diving, I would miss not being able to take home a bag limit of scallops from the rigs when diving there. However, I've got to agree with you that this is a small price to pay if it is the difference between being able to experience a dive environment similar to those I remember from my early days of diving, or having to settle for diving in areas that are relatively devoid of wildlife. For those that remember, all you have to do is to look at Kathy Kalohi's photos posted on this website to see that diving the rigs reminds one, at least on a macro level, of the Channel Islands of twenty years ago.
In fairness, however, it is impossible to place the blame for the reduction of local marine resources solely (if at all) on the sport diving community. And, the isolated nature and relative inaccessibility of the rigs does provide an almost unique situation. If there was anywhere that the dive community could prove itself capable of self-regulating its marine resources it would be here. If divers and dive operations could come together and strictly enforce their own limits on the taking of game, it might be possible to establish once and for all the impact of the sport diver on the marine ecosystem. Of course, how possible is that...?
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