Posted by msblucow on December 15, 2002 at 22:51:08:
In Reply to: Re:More facts. posted by Steve on December 15, 2002 at 15:39:30:
I've got two words for you. Urchin barrens. You know, I've never seen them up in Central and Northern California where there are resident sea otter populations. And last time I checked, both areas also had a rather busy commericial fishing industry.
Unfortunately, in the end, this may be a mute point. Because despite the best efforts of conservationists, sea otters are still in decline due to pollution, disease (caused by fecal runoff from dogs and cats), and the occasional run-in with man. Sea otters are like the canary in the coal mine. An ocean environment that cannot support them in sustainable numbers has no business being harvested commercially in the amounts currently set. Eventually, the whole thing will collapse in on itself and we'll end up with a fishery less productive than you could possibly imagine. If you don't believe me, just ask the cod fishermen in New England, the crabbers in the Cheasapeake Bay, or the shrimpers in North Carolina - three once abundant fisheries that collapsed due to overfishing, pollution and rapant coastal developement.
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