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Comments by ijmarsh

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Posted on April 25 at 7:46 a.m.

Way off point!

The human side is the guy is a repeat offender and the other charges were related to size limits on his "legal" sea urchin catch. Look, the state gives a privilege to harvest and follow the regs. If Laumer can't be bothered to bring in urchin large enough to pass muster and then on top of that takes abs to eat/sell/barter he's made a conscious decision to screw the rest of us "humans" who are fishing sustainably. The rules and penalties are the same for all divers. We all know this when we go out.

As to the posters who are discussing the elephant issue; abalone still have their habitat around the islands relatively undisturbed. They are coming back at a rate far exceeding the popular expectation. They remind me of the snails that periodically infest my garden: they're basically impossible to kill off if the habitat/food source is not destroyed.

Farming abalone is well established and if you've the money and inclination you can eat it every night. It is much, much cheaper, read greener, to properly manage the natural environment for abalone and other fish production.

The closure of abalone over the last 17 years has reestablished large populations in some areas and, barring habitat degradation, others will follow. How we manage such renewable resources in future is the issue to focus on.

On Abalone Poacher Faces Stiff Sentence

Posted on August 2 at 9:43 a.m.

The lawsuit's purpose, as Mr. Wood explains, is to set straight who's in charge: Congress through lawmaking, or US Fish and Wildlife Service through "rulemaking".

One of the rhinoceri in the room is the notion that this law is the reason otters have not expanded their range at the rate their friends expected. Could it be the otters don't like the taste of the water in Southern California?

Visit Heal the Ocean website for a primer on the pollutants we're allowing in our watersheds and ocean. And that's just from SB South Coast alone!

On Lawsuit Filed to Stop Otters

Posted on October 7 at 7:03 a.m.

The USFWS has not removed an otter from the southern waters in 20 years, right? My questions are:

Is there any evidence that doing away with the unenforced "Otter free zone" will increase otter population or range?

What is the evidence that the unenforced "line in the water" has been a detriment to sea otters?

On Otters or Shellfish?

Posted on August 14 at 7:25 p.m.

Way to go Steve. These thoughts have been on many of our minds. Thanks for telling it like it is.

PS to commentators: Otters are not sea rats, they're sea weasels

Jim Marshall, fifty year sport abalone consumer, thirty year commercial abalone diver.

On The Current Crisis

Posted on August 14 at 7:15 p.m.

It seems the headline outstrips the information of your article. I've lived in this town since 1969 and have always dreaded the foggy times that occur each year. In the last forty-one summers there have been some that fade into the fog... And the fog continues. In the weather and in the reporting of it.

The header says "experts agree, this summer without sun is not normal". First your experts don't agree. One, a "twenty-something PhD" talks of data that tells us the period between 6/1 and 8/8 was ranked third foggiest. The other says," Unfortunately, there is no rhyme or reason to any of this.

Your header should have said, "Experts agree, we don't know what normal is".

On The Gloomiest Gloom Ever?

Posted on July 2 at 10:22 a.m.

Being a "foodie" I read with interest the article about Square One, another local restuarant serving farmed abalone. I was especially interested in George's use of the term "sustainaby farmed abalone".

At this point I must reveal myself as the gent featured in another article in this issue of the Independent. I'm Jim Marshall, the former, and hopefully future, abalone fisherman.

While farming abalone may be economicaly sustainable and would appear to have no effects on the enviornment, some background information is advisable before one walks away feeling good about his "sustainable" abalone dinner.

Before I go into it, I would say that I've known Ben Beede, owner/operator of the Cultured Abalone, for many years and know his operation to maintain the highest standards.

When creating an artificial enviornment in which to grow abalone a monoculture is created. This monoculture is also an ideal circumstance for culturing abalone disease and parasites. Such diseases or parasites may then access the natural enviornment through the outfall of water used in the facility.

A herpes virus is currently spreading through the wild abalone population of Victoria, Australia. This virius is devastaing that population. That virus has been tracked to an abalone aquaculture facility in Victoria and has spread from that origin.

Here in California we had a scare many years ago from a worm that originated from South African abalone. These abalone were brought here for mariculture experimentation and with them came an exotic Sabellid worm that spread throughout the abalone mariculture facilities here and devastated those businesses. Some of them just turned off the pumps, shoveled out the abs and started over. Luckily, the worm did not establish itself in wild populations.

Currently, there is or was an effort to culture White Abalone, a federally listed endangered specie, in a captive breeding program. Unfortunately, the white ab brood stock and 10,000 of their progeny recently died from disease in the culture facility. Again, luckily, this disease was not loosed into the wild.

The origins of Whithering Syndrome, which devastated and continues to threaten wild abalone in CA, has been debated ever since it first appeared here in the eighties. Australian researchers have suggested that the profile of the spread of that disease fits monoculture origins.

I apologize for this long-winded comment but I hope it illustrates that we should be cautious when using a "little" word like sustainable.

On S Is for : Square One

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