I really appreciate your position on MPLA's Elaine

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Posted by Brad on August 17, 2002 at 07:18:59:

In Reply to: Re: Why did they chop up garibaldi? posted by Elaine on August 16, 2002 at 22:01:48:

I attended the West Marine meeting last Thursday evening in LB. The CEO of West was there as well as Tom Raftican of United Anglers and the head of The Ocean Conservancy. United Anglers is leading the 'war' against the reserves on behalf of recreational fishermen.

After the meeting i asked Tom if he was aware of the state of the resident fishery at Catalina. There has been no commercial fishing there except for squid for many years, yet the populations of virtually every specie of resident fish are severely depressed, many are extinct from that island habitat.

The first time i fished at Catalina was back in 78', we caught black and yellow rockfish, kelp, golpher, and blue rockfish. The boat also caught treefish, cabazon and ling, all in less than 60ft of water.

[as a side note, i have only kept 3 rockfish in 16 years of fishing]

Those species of fish are long gone in the shallow waters surrounding that island. The pressure that eventually drove the depletion of those fish came almost exclusively from recreational angling....

So i asked Tom, suppose your 'war' is successful at washing out the no-take reserves or reducing their size to a point where they are no longer effective. In 20 years when the Channel Islands have been pilfered to the point that Catalina has, are you going to look back and be proud that you fought the 'good fight'? What are you going to tell the people who will never see the abundance that our generation was privileged to see? We had a chance to preserve the beauty and viability of some of the most productive waters in Southern California, but it threatened our recreation, so we declared 'war' and won!

I was so disheartened by the declaration of 'war' against the reserves that last year i gave away all of my fishing gear and stripped my boat of all fishing equipment and now i do underwater photography exclusively. After all those years of fishing i had nothing to show for it now i have a beautiful and growing gallery of pictures in my living room.

If you would like to see one of my galleries, go to scisland.org/ click on the bird, then on underwater photos by Brad. That is the official Navy webpage that gives island closures for San Clemente Island.

Very glad that you care Elaine!


(loves the sea)

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