My two cents!

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Posted by James on October 07, 2002 at 19:04:29:

I got certified a long long time ago and have been diving the Santa Monica Bay almost exclusivly during that time. We had to make a lot of our own equipment and had to be happy with how it worked, because it was a whole lot better than holding your breath. And truly anyone who dove more than once was a tough kind of individual. We dove in sweatsuits and long underwear because there was no rubber to make wetsuits out of and then the rubber was of poor quality and didnt last very long. Now everything is different with the new technology and wonderful innovations. Almost anyone can be a diver today. Unfortunately, a certain kind of elitism has crept into the sport along the way. The joy of pursuing your dinner or catching a large specimen has been made to be something negative. You can bet that the ONLY reason that I braved the cold, often murky water was in hopes of catching something for dinner. And my other dive friends were impressed by a large fish because they knew what it took to get it. Today, if you pursue spearfishing or Lobster hunting, some treehugger will start badmouthing you. Go figure.
When I started diving, there was a Minimum size limit AND a Maximim size limit to lobsters. The belief was that the Bigger Bugs had more potential to produce offspring. A Berkely study found that many of the bigger bugs were no longer found with eggs during the breeding season! The maximim size limit was dropped. The bigger Bugs were also found to snack on smaller bugs if given a chance, reports have found there are more reported shorts since the Giant bugs have become scarce. Upping the size limit a bit make more sence than throwing the big bugs back, if the aren't breeding anymore.
Anyway, the decimation of the ocean creatures in my opinion is not from sport divers, even those that pursue the biggest individuals, but really from the MISMANAGEMENT of the Commercial Fisheries of California. We have no Abs in So. Cal not because of sport divers, but Commercial Collecting and Pollution, The Black Sea Bass are hurting not because of sport Divers, but because of Gillnetters, Lobsters are not depleted because of sport divers, But because Commercial Fishers are ALLOWED to have unlimited Lobster pots AND deport over 90% of the catch overseas! And rhere are many more examples of this mismanagement for the bottom dollar. We need to lighten up and focus on the real problem, and it's not sport divers.
Anyone who wants to attack me is fine, I have seen diving in ways that may never be seen again. Spending a lot of money on equipment, doesnt make you any better than the next guy, your opinion is just that, your opinion. I have caught lobsters, I have speared big fish, and I think everyone deserves the right to do it also. If the ocean dies from lack of creatures, it will definately not be because of sport divers. And anyone who thinks it is, is just uninformed. Thank You

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