|repost: urchin control, kelp restoration, in Mendocino|
Posted by Roger on February 28, 2020 at 18:56:04:|
reposting this from the OC Diving mailing list
As you may have heard, on 2/21/2020 the DFG enacted a temporary regulation removing the recreational limit on purple urchin at Caspar Cove to facilitate underwater culling by recreational divers. Yesterday the OPC approved a $500,000 budget to fund commercial removals and the scientific monitoring of recreational and commercial efforts. They have done this because we asked for it. We have asked for an opportunity to show that recreational divers can have a positive impact on the recovery of our kelp forests. Their challenge to us now is to prove it. This is something that divers are asking for in other locations like Monterey and Sonoma but if we want to get it elsewhere we have to prove we can do it here first.
The measure of success for the recreational effort will be;
Iím also excited to announce that Reef Check will be doing all of the scientific study designs and data monitoring. Iíve been working on projects with Reef Check for several years now, first on the abalone FMP, now urchin. Iíve been impressed by the character of each member of the administrative team as well as the integrity of the organization and the data they produce. As far as our recreational efforts are concerned, the regulation allowing us to crush at Caspar will go into effect on March 2. Within the first week or two of March I will place a red buoy on the south side of Caspar Cove. Iím asking all divers that go to Caspar focus your effort here. Start at the anchor and work your way out from there. Reef Check is going to be working overtime for the next few weeks to design protocols and reporting requirements for us. Once they know how they are going to monitor the site and what we need to report to aid in the data collection we will announce the new protocol and how to report our activity. There is no law or regulation that we have to follow these protocols or report anything. This is an entirely voluntary program but as I said, this is a test. The most important part of this test is, can we follow protocol and will we report accurate useful information. If we canít do these things this regulation will expire in 6 months and I will have no argument to keep this effort or anything like it going. FOR THIS REASON IT IS VITAL THAT WE FOLLOW THE PROTOCOLS ONCE THEY ARE ESTABLISHED AND ACCURATELY REPORT ANY INFORMATION REEF CHECK REQUESTS OF DIVERS INVOLVED WITH THIS PROJECT. Assuming that we do follow the voluntary protocol and reporting formats, at the end of the first six months the DFG would extend the regulation and begin the lengthy process of a full regulatory change allowing us to continue.
Letís start the year off with a big effort. Letís try to get all the clubs, all the shops, and as many divers as we can to start the year off right with a weekend of crushing May 16th and 17th. Thatís the weekend after Motherís day and before Memorial weekend.
Who will help me promote this?
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