Re: SCUBA Huntin'?

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Posted by Patrick on May 23, 2008 at 17:04:59:

In Reply to: SCUBA Huntin'? posted by Divebum Don on May 22, 2008 at 21:58:55:

What I can’t understand is why any hunter with any taste, skill or thought for the environment would shoot Sheephead. These animals are the first line of defense against urchin predation of the kelp beds. Stop and think – haven’t the densest, healthiest kelp beds you’ve dived been those with a good population of Sheephead? Almost anybody that’s been diving for a while has spotted a big ol’ bruiser swim by with his lips bristling with urchin spines. That Sheephead’s dinner of urchins is helping to protect that kelp bed from being overwhelmed by the spiny buggars, and plays a major part of keeping some balance in that chunk of ecosystem.
Plus the skill in shooting them is akin to shooting your dog and they really aren’t the best eating. Go for a Sand Bass or a Calico, or a White Sea Bass, or a barn-door flattie. All fish that are much better eating and demonstrate a hunter’s skill rather that his callow interest in just killing something for the pot. Plus, Sheephead, just their presence – particularly a large male - adds to the dive experience. To see those stately dudes cruising through a golden canopy of kelp makes a good dive a great dive.

My 2-cents…

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