Re: OK, here's the whole story...

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ California Scuba Diving BBS ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by kelphead on October 09, 1999 at 04:21:17:

In Reply to: OK, here's the whole story... posted by seahunt on October 08, 1999 at 17:17:56:

first of all, speaking of emotion, you're just lucky
i'm WRITING this out instead of saying it face to face.

= ; b

(for some reason i do much better logically writing
my thoughts out, BUT i can certainly understand and
relate to marta's emotions, so...)

2nd of all, i did honestly try that link you provided
earlier, but it didn't work at all--something about
not having a dns entry or the server could not be found
(something like that). if you could please provide
the proper link, i would not mind taking a look at
what that site has to say.

3rd of all, since you have more of an expert background
than i do, i will accept your thoughts on this matter
and take them more seriously than if it were somebody
else who did not have the same training, but...

i will say that i stand behind my comment about nature
being perfect in its balance--as from nature's point of
view, not ours. that's exactly what i was taught as a
bio sci undergrad, and after seeing many evolutionary
examples, i believe in this statement.

basically, if an animal STARVES itself, it will die.
this will either completely wipe out the species or
just reduce its #'s temporarily. agreed...?...

if an animal is on the constant VERGE of starving itself,
as i believe was your point, then that doesn't necessarily
mean it is actually starving--ie, killing--itself. it
just means that its on an edge LIKE MANY ANIMALS ARE
in nature b/c they are always one meal away from death,
or life (however one views it). example, the cheetah.

as far as constantly starving itself, one thing that
didn't occur to me when i wrote my rebuttal to you
initially (though i'm SURE you must know this, so please
forgive me) is that otters do indeed have a very high
metabolism rate which results in their NEED to
eat 25% of their body wt per day. as i was taught
at the aquarium relatively recently, if they don't
eat the required 25% of their body wt per day, then
that would indeed cause them to starve. this what you mean by the 'starving' statement...?...

also, re:the fishery contributing to the current
species starvation, i believe that otters do eat other
marine life such as fish, octopus, crabs, etc.
it's not just abalone and clams (and purple sea urchins).
so, i was referring to these other marine resources that
we as humans are competing against w/the otters (and
other marine mammals, for what it's worth). am i still
incorrect about that analysis? i just wanted to clear that up.
...i guess you can throw in the kelp forest habitat as
a resource that we compete w/the otter, especially,
i would expect, during such el nino seasons. however,
i cannot say for sure if habitat destruction is
a contributing factor since the kelp forests seem
to be thriving up north right now.

so, anyway, coming back to your point about how sea
otters eat everything and are an "ecological disaster"
i would think, if you agree w/my logic way up top there,
that if an animal was successful in outright starving
itself due to a lack of food/prey, then the animal will
die. if enough of them starved themselves, then enough
of them would die. if that happened then there would
be a total decline in overall numbers of otters. if that
were the case, then we either would have seen a complete
wipe out of the species (which we obviously didn't
see) -OR- we would see a cyclic effect (which often
seems to be more in line w/nature's course).

so, let's assume for the sake of argument here (b/c
i don't have evidence in front of me to back this up)
that the otter population cycles up and down depending
on the availability of natural resources and their
tendency, as you claim, to "starve" themselves. in which
case, i can definietly buy that this is normal and
natural behaviour.

so, if this is the case, then what's the problem...????...
they'll make a natural comeback at some point in the
future, right???

well, continuing on, the problem, it would seem to
me, is the fact that many humans (worldwide) don't
like the idea of moderation and sharing w/the still
natural world. that, to me, seems to be the problem.

people take too much until there is not enough for any.

THAT is unnatural and should NOT be considered normal.

and then the wildlife gets blamed for the shortage!!!
(oh, the otters are eating too much!! oh, the wolves
are stealing too much!!! oh, the ____ are grazing too
much!!! etc. etc.)

everything should be done to prevent the scouring
of the earth, by humans, lest we be eternal locusts
that don't give mother earth a break to replenish.

so, to move on to your other q's:

i have dived monterey for the first time this past august,
but am not sure if you consider this the 'central coast'.

if so, then yes, i have dived the central coast, but
only one weekend.

as far as which choice i would make, i would have
to definitely agree w/you re:the allocation of land
strictly as preserves and as no take zones--AT ALL!!!

on the one hand, it sounds kind of sad that as humans
populate the world we designate less and less space to
our wildlife (and indigenous people, for that matter).

(btw, overpopulation is becoming a myth, apparently;
according to recent reports as 3rd world countries
are slowly--but finally--getting decent health care
and strong birth control messages, the world's birth
rate is slowing down to a standstill.)

so, yes, i do believe in creating preserves, but
they will be nothing more than oversized zoo parks--
but at least the animals will be 'home'.

it's one of those quandries i remember being
discussed in my undergrad ecology class, oooh,
about 9 years ago now:

what will we choose for our natural world?

**few large wildlife 'islands'


**several small wildlife 'islands'

the key to EVERYTHING in life is indeed moderation,
as mentioned in another post in this thread.

i would love to see aquaculture flourish, but apparently
not all species of fish are conducive to the technique.
(but miracles can happen: the aggro research has
already successfully grown many well known vegetables
in pure sand!!!)

will i personally give up seafood to 'do my share'?

if it were on a species by species decision, then definitely!!!

right now, though, i'm adopting the attitude of wait
until the damn thing has procreated and let the babies
live!!! eat only the post-mated adults. so, i have
recently given up baby octopus. they sure do taste good,
especially korean bbq style, but this is just one tiny
step that i am now taking to control myself. if everyone
else did that, too, then i'd say we would be on a great
track (i know someone who supposedly doesn't eat shrimp
at all b/c of the high by-catch kill rate).

but there are billions of other humans on the planet
that haven't gotten the message yet, so, on the other
hand, i'm not sure if my personal action will do anything
except help me sleep at night.

in the same vein as aquaculture and establishing
preserves for our distant cousins, i think that
sport fishers should NOT hunt sea bass that are
younger than 11 years old. how can one tell how old
a sea bass is? how the hell should i know???!!! but
that is the next step in trying to moderately hunt
sea bass and to ensure they don't end up on the
endangered list--wait until the damn thing procreates first!!

that is exactly the same message that has been made and accepted
when it comes to other animals such as the sea turtle
(protect the eggs until the hatchlings reach the sea) and seahorses
(wait until the males give birth first before the
locals sell them in batches to the industry).

so far, the seahorse population is coming back in
southeast asian waters and a preserve/no take zone has
been established by the voluntary cooperation of the
locals, who rely on the seahorse industry just to feed
their own families.

i don't know how successful the sea turtle campaign
is--perhaps you can fill me in (or correct me).

as far as the 'hunting' instinct you mentioned, well, i've never
hunted and, w/all due respect, don't understand this
so-called need. i think mankind is like this:

if hungry, then hunt/forage.

if can find food at store, then no need to hunt.

perhaps that explains why the vast majority of men
(and women) don't hunt for sport. it's mostly a class
thing w/trophies, etc. i guess you can argue that
shooting ranges and clay (or live) pigeon shooting
is a watered down form of hunting, but the vast majority
of people still don't participate in these types of sports.
so, i don't really have much empathy for the sport hunter
and personally won't miss it if it ever was to be outlawed.
i think that a boat full of ~30 divers taking ~400 legal lobsters
(true story, not making this up) is a little obscene.

i mean, really, what the hell are 30 sport divers
going to do w/400 lobsters and why not let some of those
legals live to pass on their apparently healthy genes???

the fishery first goes after the best looking, healthiest
prey until they have fished them completely and what are
they left with??? the smaller, skinnier, less meaty,
oilier, basically all around more inferior catch b/c
they've taken ALL the best genes out of the pool. i see
sport diver hunters DOING THE SAME THING. only w/lobster, they
get to do it before the commercial traps come out.

it may be a difference in absolute numbers (commercial
fishers by definition bring in a larger haul than
sport fishers), but when sport fishers are the ones
who rake in an unbelievable amount of healthy stock
(lobster, sea bass, abalone), then i can't see much more of
a distinction.

it's not an easy answer, but i will accept a compromise
b/c humans were put on this earth and we have just
as much right to be here as the otter, but not MORESO
than the otter and we certainly DON'T have the right
to abuse nature in any way. no, i don't believe in pushing
any species to the point of extinction whether it be
due to competing for resources (ie, otter) or whether
it be due to some uncomprehending myth (ie, the wolf
and the shark--perceived as satan's dark forces).

another point you brought up was something about
oil spills being natural. ok, now i REALLY need
help w/this one, mike. what do you mean exactly??

if you mean natural oil 'spills' as in the earth
moving oil from its interior to the surface by
some geological force (not a geologist, so please
forgive), then, YES, i can accept that definition
as being a naturally occurring event and any consequences
resulting from that--OUTSIDE OF HUMAN ENGAGEMENT
OR INTERFERENCE!!!--is natural.

however, if you mean something like the 'exxon
valdez' as being natural...then, mike...i'm really
going to have to check your biology diploma for this.

no manmade event can EVER be considered natural in
the presence of technological advancement.

it's not that i think we should ensure that EVERY
to call the incompetence of a private company's crew
as natural is like saying that the columbine high school
massacre was a natural event and that we should accept
such social outbursts from time to time and accept the

...i don't think so...

anyway, i hope i've answered some of your q's and
i hope i've made myself clear re:where i'm coming

i think i understood you better in your reply post,
but you kinda made other things fuzzy at the same

...sometimes i wonder if man's destiny is to desertify
the planet: kill most of the larger species, burn off
the rainforests making humankind both more susceptible
to new disease while simultaneously wiping out our
chance at new medicines, and by those actions end up
killing the human race...sounds pretty fantastic...
but i don't know...i just don't know...

in the end, the ultimate check on human beings are
the virus and the bacteria--some are currently making
a strong comeback. will this help the rest of the
planet in some way? taking a good portion of humans
out of the picture for a while? like the otter situation?
creating a balance that will affect both humans and
the rest of the animal kingdom...?...should we try to
prevent it...???

and for those who complain incessantly about human
overpopulation (which i've done from time to time), well,
here's the chance to finally get rid of some of us.
hope i don't offend anyone w/that little bit of black humor.


[[i do know that w/every passing day, i'm liking
humans less and the natural world more and i'm
slowly giving up on the people around me.]]

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup




[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ California Scuba Diving BBS ] [ FAQ ]