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Creel Controversy At St Abbs

Staff at the St. Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve have expressed concern about the theft of catches from creels in the Reserve area in recent months.

A Marine Reserve offical told Scottish Diver: "THe St. Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve, quoted in the top ten cold water dive sites in Europe, is famous for it's outstanding diving conditions and variety of wildlife. The long established Reserve is also well known in the diving community for the voluntary ban on the taking of shellfish within its boundaries, formalising advice given in the 1960's.

"The ban was set up in 1984 when tensions between the fishermen and divers were escalating owing to the destruction of creels and theft of catches. As one of the few areas around the British coast where the taking of shellfish is voluntarily banned, divers have since been supportive of the Reserve's Code of Practice and have acted responsibly during their visits to the Reserve.

"Unfortunately this year a number of creels have been tampered with. Not only is this illegal but also it is very dangerous. Although this problem has not got out of hand, it is a shame that a small majority of divers deem themselves differently from the rest of the diving community, flouting the standards set by everyone else.

"The St. Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve would like to reassert to the diving community the importance of the voluntary ban on the taking of shellfish, not only as a conservation measure, but also to maintain the goodwill of the local community.

"The St. Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve would like to thank everybody for their support over the years and hope that the diving community will be able to help resolve this problem. More information about the Reserve can be obtained from www.marine-reserve.co.uk".

Taken from Scottish Diver Nov/Dec 2002 issue

C'mon guys, let's stop this disgraceful practice. If you buddy does it, abort the dive there and then. Besides which, it's not in the least bit sporting ;)
 

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Hmmm...I'm hesitant about getting involved in this topic so soon after getting so much grief on another forum about it, (hence my Pepsi Ad style signature) but here goes anyway:

As I said on the "Introduction" forum when I came over to YD, I won't dive with others who _are_ pro-one-for-the-pot; period; whether they're doing it at Divesite X or anywhere else. As there were no adverse comments relating to my Intro posting, I'm assuming that I'm not the only one with this view?  

I've been meaning to ask what the general concensus of YD-ers is on this topic, as this naturally will have implications when buddying up with someone relatively unknown.

However, it would be useful to know in advance, in order to avoid any awkward situations in the future.  Perhaps we could have some kind of a poll on the issue?

Also, I have recently been made aware that the "Respect our Wrecks" initiative of last year has made little-or-no impact on some members of the crowbar brigade, so this is another factor which I find important. Not to say that there's anything wrong with bringing up the bell of a virgin wreck (yeah, you should be so lucky!) as long as the motivations and procedures are in order.


But getting back to Drifty's original post, who else finds it a bit ironic that the local fishermen are allowed to creel in the reserve? I believe it was part of the original "deal" when setting up the reserve that the fishermen would still be allowed to do so.

Of course, if divers who did steal (set free?) creeled lobsters, disguised their actions by re-lacing the creel, the fishermen would be none the wiser.
Just my thoughts...

Steve

PS: AIUI, the state of play at Craster is still one of making sure no dive kit is on display within your vehicle, this will (hopefully) avoid your car being "keyed" by the local fishermen


(Edited by Steve W at 5:10 pm on Oct. 27, 2002)
 

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OK Steve in case we ever dive together. Non-smoker, meat eater (but no to curries of any sort - very plain eater), non animal catcher/hunter/harmer and no to wreck salvage. As a new diver I fully endorse the Padi ethic of look but dont touch (Everything in my view). So I guess we can dive together?
Matt
 

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Thanks for bringing it to our attention Driftwood

The root of this seems to be the old Fisherman versus divers mud slinging contest which has carried on since the 80's.

I take a  dim view of anyone interfering with creels,:shocked: these offenders probably fall into two categories, those who are taking shellfish for their own or someones elses comsumption "one for the pot!  and those who think they a liberating these animals, maybe more of the latter.

I've always found it a paradox that there are voluntary Marine reserves observed by divers with a ban on the taking of shellfish, but then allows fisherman to operate within it's confines.:soapbox:

Even before St Abbs there was a similar set of circumstances at Seahouses and the Farne Islands,Emotive claims from fisherman of divers taking shellfish.  
At one point Seahouses becoming vertually a no go area due to the animosity between divers and fishermen.
God forbid it ever ends up like that at St Abbs.
 

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My 2 cents worth:

I do not object to sealife being taken on a dive providing:

1. It doesn't break local laws / rules (a la St Abbs)
2. It is going to be consumed
3. It is not excessive
4. You do not take juveniles

I eat fish and lobster (occasionally) and see no difference in me catching it compared with it being caught by someone else. Having said that, I also respect the wishes of people I dive with and if it upsets them then I won't do it on that dive. I haven't actually taken anything (yet) mainly because the opportunity hasn't arisen but I wouldn't rule it out.

So hopefully we'll still dive together Steve!
 

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</span>
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]So I guess we can dive together?
<span =''>
Sure thing Matt & Jay. I appreciate the argument that individual collecting is less damaging than commercial, but just as I don't campaign outside supermarket or fishmonger X, I don't vent my spleen at somone who had taken a creature; although I may attempt to bargain for the poor beasties life via "bribery with beer" ;)

I used to say far less on the topic until I realised that there are a goodly number of divers and dive boat skippers who may eat meat fish etc like most others, but discourage the taking of it by divers. Probably the most well known  of these guys being Dave Ainsley who runs the Porpoise, nr Oban; top dive boat skipper, supplier of low price kit and keen amateur marine biologist, I've yet to hear a bad word said against him.

I should add that my sig is meant to be a bit of self-depracation, 90% (or more) of my friends are regular, common-or-garden omnivores, and even my most meat-eating oriented dive buddy believes in not talking things home, and hates the 'crowbar crew' with a passion greater than mine. I'm not one of those militant types; after all, as a scientist, a relatively small number of creatures have been involved workwise (mostly the common or blue mussel, Mytilus edulis and a clam called Dosinia lupinus).

Re Parahandy's post - another one of the reasons for my viewpoint is that as recreational divers we are out to have a fun days diving, we're not there to work (excluding Ins, DMs, DLs etc). So (IMO)it's not right that our fun should  negatively impinge on some one else's workday.

Imagine we were at our desks/benches/machines or other workplace and some 'tourists' came along an started messing up whatever it is we do to earn our living? How annoyed would we be?

Plus, the current state of the fishing industry (which doesn't seem likely to change in our lifetimes) means that the average worker in it can probably see that they will have to consider another means to earn a living in the future. At least if divers make an effort not to add to their troubles now, they can probably think more favourably about the idea of chartering-out their boats for dive parties.  

And lets not forget that the recent "Wreck Respect" initiative was a concerted effort by BSAC, PADI and SAA (among others) to avoid government regulation (for regulation read reducing or banning) of recreational diving - who wants that eh?  The 'crowbar crew' don't seem to realise what they are risking (ie out diving liberties).

Right, off my :soapbox: now, and, apologies in advance if my ranting p***es people off, I don't mean to (honest!)
Regards
Steve
PS Jay, you probably already know this, in which case apologies for the :umnik: , but in addition to the caveats you've indicated above, taking males from the population will impact less than taking females.

(Edited by Steve W at 8:12 pm on Oct. 27, 2002)
 

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For my money's worth, what do 'we' dive for?
Personaly its to see what others cannot, the marine creatures in their natural habitat, and the plant life (getting old you see).
Now if I were to see the Lobster squat under a rock, and then take it. What does the diver following me look at?Simplistic I know, but thats my ethics.
And I have no qualms about killing things and eating meat. I have gotten to the point where I realise that 'we' humans can't keep on the way we are, including 'wrecking' or there'll be nothing left for our kids :sad:

Steve W, I read the postings from the BSAC newsgroups, glad I never joined BSAC if thats a reflection of the divers
 

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I don't mind divers who take the odd shellfish, do it my self, take a couple for the pot, but only if there in abundance.  I do not believe in overkill tho' As for wrecks, look but don't touch, leave something for the new divers.  
 

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Not pissing anyone off mate - its a great thread and is obviously generating some interest. I tend to play devils advocate a lot of the time so ignore me! As I said, I've never taken anything (living or otherwise) and tbh, I'm not sure I'd have the balls to drop a live lobster into a pot of boiling water anyway!

At the risk of setting myself up for a fall, how do you tell a male lobster from a female?

As for your moniker, I was a tree-hugging veggie myself a while back but the smell of bacon sandwiches was too much for me! Mmmmmmh, bacon sandwiches ....
 

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Greetings everyone..
                   Well as most people are aware that I dive in NZ and I could not imagine taking a crayfish home for the "Pot" everytime I dive.I must admit however that we never take Juvies and try not to take females and never if they are in Berry ( Got eggs)..  Also this is very ridgidly enforced over here by M.A.F ( ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries).
It is nothing to come in from a dive and find a MAF officer waiting at the boat ramp to check your catch and bag limit,
Whether it be fish or shellfish. Which then makes sure that Substainable Fishing is carried out..
And I also dive with a few ladies who dont like the thought of taking creatures from the sea. ( The Blokes like crayfish to much :lol: )And I always respect my buddies Dive habits, I would not ruin anothers dive Because of my carnivore instincts..
And for me diving is a natural extension of my fishing and hunting lifestyle.
Now " Heads Up" if your lobsters are like our crayfish, and from what I understand they are close cousins the way we tell. Is to turn them upside down, open the tail and check the scales on the inside ( Females have a lot bigger scales)
and if you see anything resembling Eggs on the inside of the tail this is deff female..:lol:
i might also add check your size limits very carefully and learn were to measure them correctly..
And Steve, I hope that if I ever get to England again, That you would have a beer and pint with me, even thou we do have different agendas..
On a diffrent note I have just got back from 3 days diving in Kaikora ( Well actually 1 1/2 days diving )The weather turned to Sh**. I was towing a friends boat and we blew a wheel bearing in a very " Bad " place.. Cliffs one side and hills the other. Jacknifed the boat trailer and did a complete 180 degree spin..We were very lucky nothing was coming the other way or it would have been a horrific mess..
So the POINT of this is to tell evryone to get their trailers serviced as well as your cars.. ( I am guilty more than most as I am a Mechanic and I was to lazy to check it out
Anyway safe diving all
Steve
 

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Cheers All, I'm relieved to see that I wasn't too far out on a limb with that thread and that there's a healthy respect for marine life, wrecks and the wishes of your buddy

Steve
 
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