Sea Lions the big picture.

Scuba Diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by Mojostone on September 20, 2005 at 01:19:08:


Sooner or later you will see something done about the marine mammal problem. When enough people wake up and see there is to much of a good thing. On one hand some divers blame fisherman and spear fishermen for the declining fish populations in some areas. On the other hand they support the blanket protection of marine mammals. This does not make sense to me.

Estimated at 300,000 to 400,000 sea lions in California now if these sea lions only ate one fish a day. Yeah suppose they are on a stict diet. That is over two million fish a week or nine million fish in a month lost to sea lions.

This is total fish taken in one day on most of the fishing boats hauling sport fishermen in Southern California.
2 Bigeye Tuna 14 Bluefin Tuna 366 Yellowfin Tuna 155 Skipjack_Tuna 362 Yellowtail 11 Dorado 23 White Seabass 1 Halibut 243 Calico Bass 62 Sand Bass 32 Barracuda 17 Sheephead 127 Whitefish 1016 Rockfish 431 Bonito 31 Lingcod 1 Sculpin 151 Perch 1 Mako 286 Red Snapper 40 Red Rockcod 40 Rockcod 44 Wahoo

Total looks like about 3,456 for over 600 sport fishermen on 40 boats in Southern California. Spear toting divers are not even worth counting. Now if you were to double that amount to cover for Northern California. Or even triple it for private boats and surf fishermen. That is still only a drop in the bucket compared to sea lions or commercial fisherman.

Yet who gets most of the blame for declining marine fish. It is the fisherman, be it sport or spear. Who pays a riciculous price for a fishing license to support DF&G programs. Now imagine if every fisherman refused to buy a fishing license next year. Where will the money come from to protect the marine enviroment. How about property taxes or gasoline taxes or scuba tax or maybe a camera tax ;-) Fishermen are nothing but scapegoats for many.

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