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Posted by Capt Strange and Grumpy on December 12, 2002 at 16:36:07:

In Reply to: Re: "But I don't want the otters back" Seahunt posted by Brad on December 11, 2002 at 15:12:16:

I hate to have to get into the fray again but I think you are wrong about DFG relocating otters.

The original "translocation" program was intended to create a "second" otter population in California to protect against a "castastrophic" event wiping out the entire population.

The excuse to do so was based on the now proven to be flawed assumption that the Alaska otter population was a different species.

Based on these assumptions, the Feds got the oil companies that wanted rights to develop oil resources off the Santa Barbara Channel and north to contribute millions of dollars (50 comes to mind) to support creating a population of otters at San Nicolas Island. I return, the FEDS not the state, would relocate any otters observed south of Point Conception north of the point.

If memory serves me correctly the last I heard, 600 otters were trapped or netted by the feds and moved to San Nic. of the 600 less than 12 survived at Nic. 90 or so found their way back to the coast. The rest expired from stress, lack of food, the attempt to return to their native waters or other related causes. That would seem to me to be a dismal failure.

By the way, in spite of the attempts by Carl Benz and the rest of the federal team responsible for this debacle to characterize the fisherman and divers as the enemy that needed to be isolated from San Nicolas Island to "protect" the otter population only one otter was thought to have met it's demise through human intervention.

The final insult is that when the program ran out of oil company money and proved to be a dismal failure, the feds refused to honor there commitment to relocate otters north of Point Conception.

Their is no program currently in place to move otters north of anything.


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