Posted by Peter on October 30, 2002 at 19:54:29:
One thing I have not seen discussed yet is the tremendous ignorance we currently posses when it comes to understanding underwater creatures and their ecosystems. Plain and simple, a sound conservation management plan can not be made without this knowledge.
Given the state of affairs in this matter, this should be DFG's main priority. In my opinion, given the increasing rate of diminution of many creatures from the oceans, something that will only increase in the foreseeable future, it should be their priority to work politically, educationally, and through public opinion to increase research as much as possible, before there is irreparable damage done on a large scale. A government directed crash program would be about right just now, while we can still save most species and before the finger pointing starts. Some may say that we can't afford it, ask yourself, can we afford not to?
In the meantime, partial or complete closures of areas and a reduction in quantity taken will help, but it will not necessarily prevent a possible population collapse of species or an ecosystem collapse, in the future.
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