Posted by Eric S on November 04, 2002 at 19:29:41:
I've been reading many of the posts regarding the possible closure of some areas of the channels to all access including diving.
One thing in particular that I find strange is the theory that anchoring will have a significant impact on the reefs.
Up here during the winter the waves can reach 35+ feet and vertually destroy all the kelp forests. Kelp is sometimes piled up 10 - 15 feet on all the beaches and all that is left on the reefs are little stubs about a foot long where the kelp stalk grew. I have seen areas in the rteefs where the swells and surge was so violent that two and three foot boulders have actually bowled out a shape in the rocks similar to a mortise and pestil. All the loose rocks in and around the bottoms of some of these reefs smashes and plunders all types of sea life on the rocks.
This is an annual natural phenomenon that is as reliable as the sun coming up every day.
Why is it then that every year everything comes back with a vengance? The kelp grows back thicker that ever, and all the abalone, anemones, stars, urchins, and everything else inluding fish are unhindered?
Southern California might get a few good storms in winter but nothing like up here.
Then there is the issue about divers being good spokesmen and spreaders of information to the general non diving public. The more people that get into diving and fall in love with the ocean the better chance she has of surviving.
If those areas in question are shut down to all take of marine life that would probably be a step in the right direction in conservation, but to stop all diving would be silly. Divers are the only hope the ocean has as a voice to the politicians. The miniscual damage divers do with a fin kick here and an anchor there is minute in comparison to the damage a good winter storm can cause. I think diver damage more applies to fragile tropical/ coral reef locations that don't have these oceanic extremes.
Maybe for the hunters there should be a punch card system with different species rotated every year. Drop the take of lincod let's say to 1 a day and 5 or 6 a year, and other rock fish to 4 a day and 50 max a year? Hunters would have to write down the species and location each time and turn it in at the end of the year just like abs. Abalone are off limits to commercial take (always have been up here - that's why we still got 'em) why not do the same with other fishes?
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