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Posted on March 28 at 2:54 p.m.
1) Otters will not destroy all fisheries. But they will generally change fisheries from shellfish to finfish2) Otters do not create a wasteland. In fact, diversity and productivity are higher with otters3) Otters do not destroy abalone populations. But, otters do munch down on exposed urchins and abs, leaving the ones deep in crevices or too deep for otters to forage (ie white abalone). Many areas within the otter's range have abalone -- they are just out of reach of otters and people too4) 5000 otters in Monterey alone -- noooo5) Urchin divers gone after 5 years? Chris! Where have you been? Otters have been on the Gaviota Coast since 1998. They've been hanging around off the harbor for the past 5 years.6) A primary provision of the no-otter zone was that if the otter population transplanted to San Nicolas failed, the no-otter zone was to disappear. It failed by the standards set by the Fish and Wildlife Service. There are about 40 (original and progeny) of the 140 transplanted otters left.
There are many many factual errors in Chris' piece. But he does make some interesting points: His view of beauty is urchin and abalone bounty and money in his wallet. Some -- including myself -- have alternative views.
On Otter Ho!