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Posted by seahunt on November 02, 2002 at 18:59:07:

In Reply to: good to see you get in the game posted by finfan on November 01, 2002 at 13:36:40:

Actually, I can't agree with you.
Hunters, especially hunters that use their ancient instincts,
are just too good at clearing out an area.
Let me say from experience as one who has been diving where
few others go. Just one persistant hunter can clean out a
whole reef.
Think that according to Wheeler North, 35 pounds per acre is
about all a kelp reef can support in the way of fish. Now I
know that that is an average, but I have shot far more than
that in one spot.
What complicates this is that there are deeper reefs that the
sport diver never sees. This is where the commercial fishers
most impact and these feed the shallower reefs.
Still, a good hunter can devestate a whole
Put it this way, I just wrote about Colby Reef in Mendocino which
had an incredible abundance of sea life. I saw lings and rockfish
that had no fear of the hunter. I could clean it out in a
I am a hunter of opportuity. I hunt if the hunting looks good, but
not if it looks worked over. There are plenty of people like me
that would hunt if the huntig is there. We would find your new
habitat. besides, it's hard to do much habit enhancement. I like
divig the artificial rock piles and recently posted about the Venice
beach fishing reefs. They are beautiful and productive, but they are
small. Even at night I got a good look at a fair amount of the
By all means, enhance habitat, keep making artificial reefs, (oh how
I bemoan thae loss of the reefs of the Horseshoe Kelp) but I think
that individual divers making fish homes in natural reefs, could
easily produce more habitat than artificial reefs can economically
The reserves work. You don't know how many people thought about
how to preserve the fisheries from inevitable destruction. Just be
glad that the reserve system seems to work and support it.
On another note, I definately think that the reserves should be
open to non-hunters. Again, from experience, I will say that divers
have a very minor impact on the reef life. We are just not a part of
their world and they ignore us.
In a short time, these spots will commonly offer the world class
quality of diving that California represents. You have no idea the
impact of the commercial urchin harvesters, let alone the live fish
and cuke huters........ These areas would offer something special to
the dive tourist, the photographer, the explorer and the siteseer. I
have seen the areas of California with minimal impact and they make
most of the spots divers get to visit look drab.
Enjoy the diving, seahunt

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