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San Diego Council Of Divers, California DFG And Spear Gun Manufacturers Respond To Recent Sea Bass Poaching
Date: 05/06/05  By Editorial

SAN DIEGO - On April 24th 2005, a scuba diver was reported to have speared and killed a giant sea bass in the La Jolla Ecological Reserve. This incident sparked a negative outcry from the local community and also from sport divers; not only is spear fishing in the reserve a violation of state law, but the take of giant sea bass (Stereolepis gigas) is prohibited according to State of California Ocean Fishing Regulations.

The San Diego Council of Divers hopes to turn this unfortunate incident into a learning experience

The San Diego Council of Divers hopes to turn this unfortunate incident into a learning experience. Derek Tarr, president of the San Diego Council of Divers, stated "This event proves that we should be proactive in educating spear fisherman about marine reserves and protected species."

The San Diego Council of Divers has contacted speargun manufacturers Riffe and JBL, and both companies have agreed to include a copy of the California Department of Fish & Game's Ocean Fishing Regulations Book with each speargun sold in Southern California this summer.

California Department of Fish and Game warden Erik Fleet stated, "If you choose to take, you are responsible to know and abide by the laws which govern the take."

The San Diego Council of Divers also is further encouraging all manufacturers, dive store operators, spear fisherman, and dive training agencies to promote responsible recreational use of marine resources.

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