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Member Since 23 Apr 2008
Offline Last Active May 04 2010 10:54 PM

Topics I've Started

Tigers and Chinas and Canaries, Oh My: Help needed

03 October 2009 - 11:32 PM

The Washington State Fish and Wildlife Commission is considering establishing an underwater park out at the tip of the Olympic Peninsula (Neah Bay area) for scuba divers and to protect an amazing area of high species diversity. They need to hear from lots of folks from around the country, as a major consideration for doing this is to increase ecotourism to this part of Washington State.

Please take a few minutes and send an email to the Dept of Fish and Wildlife requesting they establish an underwater park within that portion of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary lying within the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Tell them to protect this priceless treasure by placing it off limits to fishing and invertebrate harvesting.

Comments should be sent to WDFW Rules Coordinator Lori Preuss at Lori.Preuss@dfw.wa.gov

To see what a Tiger, China and Canary rockfish looks like, go to http://biodiversityguy.smugmug.com/

That small portion of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary lying within the Straits of Juan de Fuca is home to a very special assemblage of marine rockfish species. I am not aware of anywhere else in the continental United States where one can easily encounter Tiger, China, Canary, Quillback, Yellowtail, Black and Blue rockfish species. It is also home to amazing creatures such as basket stars and giant pacific octopi, kelp and krill, and an astounding diversity of soft corals, sponges, anemones and other marine invertebrates.

Long-lived species of rockfish cannot easily support intense fishing pressures. Black, China and Tiger rockfish live to be 50, 75 and over 110 years, respectively. Even when rockfish are not directly targeted, they are often taken accidentally as bycatch when anglers are fishing for lingcod, halibut, Cabezon and other sportsfish. Because they have a swim bladder full of gas, when they are rapidly brought to the surface the swim bladder expands and they are unable to swim back down, even in a catch and release setting.

For this reason conservationists are working to create an ecological reserve within that portion of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary lying within the Straits of Juan de Fuca.

Such a marine protection area will not only protect a portion of the population of these sensitive species, it will also help bring national and international attention to the wealth of fish and invertebrate species found in Washington State’s waters. The assemblage of rockfish that can be seen there is the most diverse in all of Washington’s waters, so designating this area will be a great boon to state ecotourism efforts.

The ecological value of ecological reserves such as this is clear. As documented in the publication The Science of Marine Reserves, 2nd edition, published by the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO), “no fishing” reserves increase the biomass, density, body size and species diversity within their borders. Some of the most important benefits occur beyond the borders of reserves. Boosts in growth, reproduction and biodiversity can replenish fished areas when young and adults move out of the reserve. Studies from Alaska demonstrate that lingcod tagged within a reserve moved more than 50 miles out of the reserve before being recaptured.

Please take a couple of minutes and submit a brief email. Your help is requested and needed to help us make the case for marine conservation!

D300 housing options?

04 July 2009 - 02:52 PM

My guess is that there is an existing thread I can be pointed to.

I use an Ikelite housing now, but am planning to move up to a Nikon D300. When I make the move I was planning to stick with Ikelite, but figure I should do due diligence and evaluate the opposition. I know a few different folks make housings/UW flash setups. Has there been a discussion of the pros and cons of the various choices?