The big picture

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Posted by e-shark on August 09, 2001 at 16:40:02:

In Reply to: Re: In a heartbeat (-) posted by seldom seen slim on August 09, 2001 at 12:20:27:

Here's what I see as part of the big picture:

Fishermen who, metaphorically speaking, would shoot what was thought to be the last male passenger pigeon, then justify the act by arguing that we don't "know" that there aren't any other males out there and besides we still have all these females.

Fishermen who argue that reserves make no difference in fish stocks, when even an idiot can see the obvious differences in fish numbers inside vs. outside an existing reserve.

The number I recall for the proposed MPA's under the MLPA was on the order of four percent of the total ocean waters under State jurisdiction (3-mile limit). The area covered by MPA's is likely to decrease from what has been proposed, not increase. And from what I can gather, MPA boundaries and locations do NOT eliminate all sport fishing within a reasonable distance of any harbor, although it may be a little farther and/or little more inconvenient than it was prior to the MPA.

There are a lot of divers who, although they do not fish themselves, can co-exist with responsible underwater hunters. They probably outnumber the underwater hunters by a substantial margin. These non-hunters might well be persuaded by rational argument to oppose a complete ban on sportfishing. Fishing zealots who treat ANY limitation on sportfishing as the end of the world and who denigrate attempts to preserve some portions of the underwater environment are likely to lose the support of these non-hunters. If the battle comes down to shrill environmentalists vs. a few shrill underwater hunters, I wouldn't bet on the hunters.

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