yes, but already have license, nervous about plate, the first place to look for a dive instructor

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Posted by RogerC on January 01, 2004 at 10:25:13:

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

All the divers I know buy licenses. I got word of this discussion from an email from John Moore, and I started to forward it on to my dive buddies, but I just couldn't find one that doesn't already buy a license. I guess we are all consumptive divers, everybody takes a little bit of something, lobsters, scallops, something. I can remember some of us saying that we'd buy abalone stamps to support abalone, without taking them, back when that stamp was being discussed.

So basically, I think there is a good idea in here somewhere that will work well, but on the other hand, all my friends are already doing it - and we're now doing it for $32.80. So we're already paying more to the DFG this year.

So would we pay even more? Maybe, especially if the price was right, or if you got something interesting for it, like a license plate or a t-shirt or a cool stamp or a lottery ticket to win a chance to sink a commercial fishing boat.

Ken suggested a vanity license plate. I'm nervous about this. I do not want this plate (or a sticker or shirt or anything else) to say "I'm in favor of MPLAs." I'm worried that that would lead to vandalism of my truck when I leave it in a landing parking lot to go diving (or fishing, I do fish, too). I'd be happy with it, though, if it was spun more carefully and was about more than MPLAs and fisherman liked it, too. I'm still a bit worried about commercial fisherman vandalizing me, and I'm also worried about the existing cetacean plate. Which plate should an ocean lover buy? Haven't ocean lovers already spent their money on the whale plate? I admit that I have not, and I would prefer the new plate, so this is a long winded and perhaps overly critical way of saying that I like the idea of the plate, if done right.

In Cozumel, you pay $2 per day to dive in the protected area (basically, all the main reefs). The dive shops collect it. It doesn't work well. We don't have a lot of confidence that it goes where it ought to - and before you say anything about this being typical of Mexico, our legislature is just as likely to do something just as crooked with this money, given half a chance. I'd rather see it collected by DF&G.

Elaine made some comments on the difference between enforcement on party boats and private boats, and said that there was more oversight on party boats with the skipper and DMs. I partly agree with that, but I'd like to point out that we had a discussion here a few weeks ago where (if I recall correctly) Captain Tim was wondering how to control some passengers who were taking stuff without knowing what it was. So that oversight is an imperfect struggle. On the other hand, I spend most of my time fishing and diving off private boats, and I've been boarded and checked by DF&G at least yearly. On party boats (fishing or diving) I've only been checked once, and I think that was due to someone calling DF&G on a tip that one diver was taking too many lobster (he wasn't, turned out, but a multi-day limit sure looks like a lot). So I think there is also good checking on private boats and this would work on private boats.

Ken also suggested a pass costing around $10. Hmm, didn't we have that? it was called a pacific-only sportfishing license.

As an aside, I wish the online license purchasing would come back.

Finally, Sonke, I *love* that you are in this forum asking these questions, no matter how things turn out.

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