You have to wonder about those FaG folks.

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Posted by seahunt on January 29, 2000 at 08:03:08:

In Reply to: Potential lift of infected abalone ban posted by msblucow on January 27, 2000 at 16:25:28:

This is a real winner. You have to wonder just how something like this
could come up. Lets go back a couple of years and look at some events.
Withering Foot Disease had been observed in Southern California for a
couple of years by divers. It was then called Shrinking Foot Disease by
divers and the FaG seemed oblivious to it. Eventually it got so bad
that FaG noticed it and then they started calling it Withering Foot
Disease. No one really knows how long they knew about it. They almost
seem like they knew about it, but didn't want to admit to it and just
hoped it would go away.
Well before that the local divers were very concerned. It seemed to go
through areas because all of a sudden there would be all these dead
abalone shells. Now I don't have the resources to document this like
FaG, but I talked to dive boat skippers and they said it was really
bad. Mike Roach of the Peace said that he didn't know that there were
that many abalone at Gull Island (back side Santa Cruz Island) until
he started seeing all these dead abalone shells. Note that these were
pink and red abalone.
It seems that FaG knew it was being spread by the aqua-culture
facilities, but did nothing about it. Then continuing work by other
researchers in California clearly showed that that was how it was
being spread and they still did nothing. About then, a petition was
circulated and signed by a large number of the scientists at the
various marine laboratories in California, asking the FaG to stop
this disasterous practice. I think that that was finally what led to
the present ban, but really FaG seems to have resisted any action on
this matter.
I really have to wonder about the folks at Fag and how they come up
with their policy. I wonder what their mission statement would look
like? Think about the fisheries in California that they are
suppposed to protect. The history of California fisheries is a
history of destruction of stocks. The southern abalone fishery was
already on its path to destruction before this disease showed up.
The rockfish fishery is collapsing as is the important Ling Cod
fishery. Actually, that's pretty much standard operating procedure
in California.
A fishery resource can be under exploited, exploited to maintenence
levels, over exploited to reduction in stocks or it can be over
exploited to destruction. In many cases, FaG policies lead to over
exploitation to destruction. They apply economic and human laws
where biological laws must be applied. Really, that looks like what
this is about. Why on earth would they consider lifting this ban
unless it was due to pressure from the aqua-culture interests?
Why would they consider it in any case?
If you enjoy the abalone diving on the North Coast or if you just
believe in reasonable game management policies, you should write a
letter to the FaG demanding that the abalone transport ban be
maintained. If the abalone are destroyed on the North Coast,
something wonderful will have been lost.
Enjoy and preserve the diving, seahunt

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