Re: MLPA Closures.

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on October 28, 2002 at 12:41:50:

In Reply to: MLPA Closures. posted by Steve on October 28, 2002 at 11:54:39:

Steve wrote: "Counter points welcome."

How about this: Your suggestion of total closure lacks any logical basis.

One word that's come out of all the hearings has been "extractors," to refer to those - commercial or recreational - who "extract" seafood from the ocean. It may be somewhat of a perjorative, but it's rather apt.

First of all, realize that size and bag limits have been in place for years. They don't work. Either because they're set too high or people simply ignore them (I'm willing to bet everyone on this board has been on a boat when undersized game has been brought back or when someone grabbed extra lobsters for their friend on-board who didn't have a limit - and think of that poaching boat captain up north who was arrested last month), they've been a dismal failure. If bag and size limits worked, abalone - despite withering foot disease - would still be a healthy species.

There's absolutely NO evidence - scientific or anecdotal- to support the idea
that rubbernecking is disruptive, let alone as destructive as the removal of animals from an ecosystem. That's why your thought makes no sense, other than to "punish" the divers the same way the fisherman feel they're being punished.

But I got to tell you that after listening to some of these guys tesitfy up in Sacramento about how they fish one species until it collapses, then fish another till it collapses, and so on, to hear them complaining about how we're destroying their livelihood is like the kid who shoots his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court because he's an orphan.

A lot of the damage here, IMHO, is self-inflicted by both commercial and recreational guys/gals who operated under the it's-only-one-illegal-fish-so-it-can't-hurt principle.

I don't know that this type of a cloure is the right thing, but I know that SOMEthing needs to be done and be done NOW, lest we start seeing species extinction.

Ken Kurtis
NAUI #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, CA

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