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Posted by seahunt on December 23, 2003 at 20:12:14:

In Reply to: Funding Stewardship posted by Sonke on December 21, 2003 at 10:18:08:

How can the Fish and Game make some more revenue, especially from divers?
In many places, there are charges for diving in Marine Preserves. If some area of the islands was restored to how I remember it in say the 70's, that might be a possibility. Diving has expanded and saturated the warm water market, but gear is better and divers can more comfortably dive the Channel Islands. The cold factor problem is lessening. The quality of diving in the Channel Islands is near incomparable. Restore some large areas and more divers will be attracted. Drop a couple of wrecks at Islands and you start to develop an international dive destination. You should be able to soak some money out of that as well.
Observge the flea infested deer. They are a climax herbivore, like abalone. Study their ecology. Their predators are gone and no commercial market is allowed. The result is overpopulation of deer. Believe it or not, the same thing should happen with abalone in the preserves.... eventually. There will be an over population. You can sell tags. Even way ahead of time. I'd make that bet. I'd pay a couple bucks for a numbered tag that allowed me to take an abalone from the preserve when the population recovered to over abundance.
Now lobster are a very different thing. I've visited La Jolla. It's a tiny reserve, but it's got lots of bugs. Have an auction on ebay for bug tickets. 300 tickets to be sold. Each good for taking one bug out of the La Jolla Preserve that year. It wouldn't dent the population and it would allow some weak hunters a good chance to get one. It's not a good example, cuz that preserve is so small as to generate little profit, but you get the idea. It could be done each year.
Contrast that to the small Gerstal cove reserve. You really wouldn't want to take abs out of there. They wouldn't replace like lobster at La Jolla would, but if a bigger area was a preserve like that, then tage would work.
By the way, I wouldn't hesitate to pay for a $10 dollar a year dive preservation stamp say to protect the new reserves say, but that is a horrible indightment of the state government to say that we have this enourmously valuble resource and won't spend a pittsance to protect or manasge it. Also realize, opening the door to that fee would probably eventually lead to the state obsconding it to the general fund. Oh well...
Enjoy, seahunt

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