Re: Ecological disaster, IMHO

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Posted by seahunt on December 23, 2005 at 21:42:13:

In Reply to: Ecological disaster, IMHO posted by Ken Kurtis on December 23, 2005 at 14:37:13:

See your local politics at work. I want it. No one has the right to stop me
from taking what I want and that's my legal position.
Fishing just does not fit into current Wall Street models and for some
reason, no one will think rationally about managing wild crops.
The only way to have a sustainable harvest of abalone ever is to have
dock limits or take tags. There can only be so many taken per year. If
the population builds up a bit from under harvest, it can be increased
next year. If the population thins, the take is reduced. No matter what,
if you ever allow anyone free rein to take a abalone, the greediest
person will take the most and will leave nothing if they are able.
It's just the way it is.
First thing to consider is that these are wild crops and the
harvesters are engaging in a neolithic hunting behavior. This is where
some of the problems start, because in most cases, wild crops are
totally mismanaged. Either there is no commercial hunt allowed, like
deer or they are commercially hunted way beyond sustainable levels
until the population crashes, like abalone, sardines, etc. Much of
what has happened to the wild crops of California was due to
mismanagement of the resource.
Another problem is that one of the most recognizable instincts
that some humans have is that of the hunt. The last stage of human
development was largely based around the hunt and led to many of the
cooperative abilities that allowed for current human civil habits.
Scratch the skin of many people and just underneath is the neolithic
hunter, who unfortunately has no off switch. It is the story of the
hunt. Search for more and tell the story of the hunt. It's all very
old and very dangerous, because humans are so good at hunting that
with a bit of technology, they can wipe out just about any wild crop.
The trouble is that the neolithic hunter just does not naturally think
about conservation. Only hunting.

Well, this is the kind of stuff I studied for many years, but really,
think about it. Think of how easy it is to get hooked on hunting and the
fanaticism with which people pursue the sport. To different degrees,
hunting is what humans did for the past million years give or take, especially
later on as humans developed better tools for hunting. Michigan pretty much
shuts down for the start of deer season. It takes clear laws to restrain
this instinct.
Observe 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 for each abalone taken. Sport divers
could get so many per year and commercial divers would get so many. You could
even sell some of the tags way ahead of time. I'd make that bet. I'd pay
for a numbered tag that allowed me to take an abalone from the preserve when
the population recovered to over abundance.

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