Posted by Eric Frasco on July 11, 2001 at 08:54:41:
In Reply to: Closures and Idiot's like some of you.... posted by Jason on July 11, 2001 at 07:00:04:
I agree that it is unfair for any one single group to force the rest of us to give up our rights, but it is obvious that it is time for a change, and all groups are going to have to make some level of compromise.
The MPA Process is a step in the right direction. Divers that want to protect their interests need to get involved in the process and voice their opinions, whether for or against the proposals. And that is why I posted information about the MPA here on Diver.Net. It is good to see that people care enough about the issue to state their opinions.
However, another step in the right direction is the reward that Bob Meistrell offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone spearing a black sea bass. The diving community needs to live up to the letter of the law, and we cannot allow a few "bad apples" to ruin things for the rest of us.
I am not advocating that anyone harrass game takers who are obeying the law and adhering to DFG regulations. But when someone obviously takes undersize fish or non-game fish (i.e. Garibaldi would be an example), the skipper of the boat or the DM should speak up, even turn in the person to DFG (call ahead and ask them to meet you at the dock).
Most fish have an alternative fillet size so that if you get a "squeaker", you should be able to get a legal sized fillet from the fish. But if you are shooting 16" halibut and lingcod, you have violated DFG regulations and should be prepared to deal with the consequences. There is no excuse for taking game without knowing the regulations.
Poaching is damaging to the rights of those of us that obey regulations, and will undermine the intent of the MPAs. Divers should not hesitate to report violations of the regulations.
But back to the MPA process: MPAs are needed, and DFG can only do so much. DFG decisions can only affect the nearshore out to three miles, the feds have to do the rest. The proposed MPAs that DFG has presented to us are what DFG considers the best solution. If you are not happy with that solution, or if you think you have a better one, then by all means voice your opinion here, and go to one of the scoping sessions and be ready to present your opinion (in writing) there as well.
We, as divers, do need to be vigilant and participate in the process. After all, without divers, there would be no one to come back and talk about the changes we see underwater, the changes to the abundance and diversity of marine life. The fact that anyone cares about what is going on underwater is directly related to divers speaking up about what they see and how they feel about the changes in the marine environment.
The MPAs will make some changes, hopefully for the better. But it will mean some compromises from us. I just want to make sure that the other users of the marine environment (commercials, recreational anglers) have to make compromises as well. The other users should have to make just as much of a compromise as the diving community has to make.
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