All the people writing letters and appearing at the Marine Life Protection Act meetings pleading to close off much of the coast to fishing often base their opinions on a few years of personal observation or biased inputs from paid so-called marine scientists.
These people hedge their positions by saying, “Based on best available science." That is an impressive way for the scientists avoiding saying, “This is what we think;" or saying, “this is what we are getting paid to come up with."
As I have stated several times, I have probably fished and dived this coast longer than any of these people, including the so-called scientists. Any longtime fisherman knows that fish and kelp quantities have always changed from year to year and even month to month as currents, water temperatures, bait fish and small squid quantities vary. Humans had little or no practical impact on any of this once the huge purse seiners where prohibited. And even those huge nets had no impact on fish, which live in the kelp.
One of the many things people wanting to close off the coast for their own selfish desires forget is that big fish eat little fish, and the bigger the fish, the fewer the fish in a given area. Most experienced sport fishermen have seen a big black sea bass follow up a hooked smaller bass and often chomp it down.
Of course the real decimation of fish is caused by the overpopulation of sea lions. Unlike sport fishermen, sea lions do not observe closed seasons or the size or quantities of fish they destroy. It takes a lot of fish to satisfy a hungry 200-pound sea lion and keep it warm; and they will certainly not respect the dreamed-of closed areas.
Nor will the giant squid respect any rules when they come through. These voracious fish killers decimate any area they pass through. Fortunately for the fish, it has become popular for fishermen to catch these killers for sport and food.
In addition, the commercial boats that take people fishing are the best assistants the Department of Fish and Game has. The crews on these boats make certain that all fishermen are licensed and that all Fish and Game regulations are enforced. This leaves the department’s officers free to concentrate on checking small private boats and spear fishermen.
In summary, vast amounts of money and man hours are being wasted in unnecessary meetings and programs just to satisfy the inane desires of some well-funded environmental extremists. This coastal closing nonsense is a similar insanity to that taking place on all this Earth-warming nonsense; also based on, now-proven [to be] biased “best available" science.
A lot of people and even countries’ leaders are making a lot of money exploiting the desires and naivete of environmental extremists. Everyone with even a grade-school education knows that the Earth, including the oceans and whole continents, has been changing constantly since the Earth was formed, and it will continue to change, regardless of man, until the sun explodes and turns all the planets into cinders.
Regarding the MLPA plans, none of them are necessary, including Plan 2, which is just the least destructive of a bad bunch.
The Department of Fish and Game has always done a good job creating and adjusting rules to protect various species whenever it appears necessary. It does not need directions from bureaucrats, biased scientists or naive environmentalist extremists.
DAVE CONNELL lives in Laguna Beach.