Lobster diving closure at Santa Cruz Island

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Posted by Steve Barsky on July 03, 2001 at 10:46:06:

The Santa Barbara News press just posted the proposed 25% no fishing zones around the Channel Islands developed by the Channel Islands Natl. Marine Sanctuary and Dept. of Fish and Game. There is an inconsistency in the proposed policy.

The plan is to make the area for 1 mile on either side of Painted Cave at Santa Cruz island a Marine Park with limited recreational fishing for certain species. One of the species that would not be allowed to be fished by sport divers in this zone would be spiny lobster. For those who know, this is one of the best lobster diving areas at Santa Cruz and all of the northern islands.

The current lobster population is considered to be healthy by DFG and there is no concern at this time regarding the status of this resource. If other species can be taken on a recreational basis in this Marine Park zone, it does not make sense that recreational lobster diving is prohibited. Unlike hook and line fishermen or net fishermen, sport divers are the most selective of consumptive users since they can see exactly what species and size animal they are taking.

If you have concerns regarding this closure, you should write to:

Ms. Patricia Wolf, Marine Region Manager
California Dept. of Fish & Game
4665 Lampson Ave. Suite C
Los Alamitos, CA 90720

This matter comes up for hearing before the Fish and Game commission in August in Santa Barbara, so any responses to this issue should be forwarded to Ms. Wolf immediately.

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