Re: Oil Rig Diving/scallops

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on August 15, 2000 at 12:01:19:

In Reply to: Re: Oil Rig Diving posted by MHK on August 15, 2000 at 02:05:58:

(Mike wrote) My understanding is that you are also precluded from spearfishing, but scallops are yours. [within fish and game limits]

There's actually some controversy about this and I haven't had time to fully investigate yet but it's possible you may NOT be able to take scallops.

The problem is that many of the oil companies have a deal with private firms to clean the rigs of mussels, scallops, etc. That means that those companies "own" the rights to harvest the scallops.

So if we drop a boatload of divers who are scallop-hungry, even though they may stay within DFG limits, there may be the possibility of a civil action from the company that owns the cleaning rights.

On top of that, the waters are further muddied by a law or statute (this was relayed to me - I have no personal knowledge of this) that prohibits someone from harvesting and then commercially selling the scallops. So, unless the company that owns the harvest rights is just keeping the scallops for themselves, THEY may be in violation of the law, which would then call the harvesting contract into question, which would put us right back where we started.

One other point to consider, regardless of the legalities, is the environmental impact we have on the rigs. I was talking last week with one of the SoCal aquarists at the Long Beach Aquarium and it was his opinion that it wouldn't take too many boatloads of scallop hunters to remove enough scallops to the point of where there won't be enough left able to reproduce to sustain future scallops on the rig.

Just something to think about. It's a small ecosystem and our impact is much greater than the larger areas we normally visit.

Ken Kurtis
NAUI Instructor #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, Ca.

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