Posted by Old Time Diver on November 21, 2004 at 22:44:03:
While frequenting different Dive shops in the area, Ive seen numerous new posters sporting the slogan "WANTED .....ALIVE" with the picture of a diver with two large Lobsters. The story under the picture states that if we are to save the Lobster Population, we should start letting the big Bugs go. Once they get too big to get caught in a Lobster trap, their only enemy is MAN! Let the big ones live.
This reminds me of the days when I first got certified and we were told to only take a few abalone, not the legal limit of five. What we didnt realize is the COMMERCIAL DIVERS were taking boatloads of Abalone day after day after day. And now there are no more abalone to be taken in Southern Calif. And the Commercial Divers moved on to something else.
The number of Lobster taken by divers, whether Big or Small, are only a small fraction of the thousands of Lobster taken by Commercial Lobster Fisherman! Each Lobster fisherman is allowed to fish an unlimited number of traps. Most of the lobsters caught are shipped out of state. Just like the Abalone Divers, a few individuals are allowed to profit, so that generations of others will pay the price of not having the resource available to them. (maybe forever more)
Lets stop kiding ourselves with "Feel Good" ideas of saving the resource by letting the Big Bugs go, (although I found out a long time ago, that the small bugs are more tender), and focus on the real problem, COMMERCIAL FISHING! I fell for that crap with the Abalone story, and now I can't even point out an Abalone underwater to my children. Allowing MORE Lobsters to grow to be Big Bugs , makes far more sense then mounting a campaign to save a small number of big bugs whose offsping become part of the plankton current and could wind up in Mexico, as easily as So. Cal. It probably feels a lot easier to guilt trip new divers than to take on the Totally worthless wildlife management system that we call the Fish and (no) Game.
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