Re: Re: Re: The Seaweed Rebellion: North Coast Enviros Battle Schwarzenegger and Big Green Over MLPA

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Posted by Chris Knight on June 21, 2009 at 12:18:05:

In Reply to: Re: Re: The Seaweed Rebellion: North Coast Enviros Battle Schwarzenegger and Big Green Over MLPA posted by Eric S on June 21, 2009 at 10:42:38:


I agree there are some differences in the ab fisheries from north to south but I'd argue that the northern fishery is still at risk. First of all it's fairly limited and being pressured by growing populations of people in NorCal. I'd also say managing the ab pop with a "nothing is wrong" attitude is a mistake and is what ended up collapsing the populations in SoCal. Withering foot was the biological tipping point that crashed everything. It didn't exist in the south prior to the 1980's and decimated remaining stocks in short order. It was brought to SoCal by an El Nino condition and an extreme one could bring who knows what to the remaining red ab populations. To treat the very-limited North Coast fishery like it's immune to these types of problems is pretty short-sighted when you realize how quickly the SoCal pops were crashed.

Finally, I appreciate your observations on ab populations in the area and I don't doubt it one bit and I've seen this on my own trips to Sea Ranch for abs. It's not really a scientific or measurable observation however. It's just that it is the same type of argument that ab fishers in SoCal used in legal challenges in the mid 80's to keep the fishery open for a full decade after the population finally crashed. The reason was because there had been no studies done to actually see what the actual population of abs in the water was.

I guess my big problem is all this talk about increased effort damaging the population because certain areas will be closed is so lame. It rings hollow because no one knows what the effort is now or what the actual population of red abs is in NorCal and the solution for them is to keep the whole area open access, with nothing to prevent effort from increasing regardless.

I still would argue that it is pretty clear that the people behind this release are only interested in protecting their fishing, not their fisheries.

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