Barbary Coast Divers

News and Events



Next Club Dive - North Coast Abalone dive Oct. 2nd

contact Carol for times and meeting place


From our Friends At DFG:

California Department of Fish and Game

Contact: Deb Wilson-Vandenberg, Marine Region, (831) 649 2892
Robert Leos, Marine Region, (831) 649 2889
Carrie Wilson, Office of Communications, (831) 649-7191

DFG Will Close Commercial Cabezon Fishery Season on Oct. 1

The Cab is the one in the middle

The Department of Fish and Game today announced that it will close the cabezon (Scorpaenichthys marmoratus) commercial fishery on Oct. 1, 2005 at 12:01 a.m.


DFG is will close the fishery because projections from landing receipts and dockside tabulation efforts indicate that commercial fishers will have reached this year's allocation. DFG expects that by the closure date of Oct. 1 the annual commercial allocation of 59,300 pounds of cabezon will be taken for the 2005 calendar year.

Cabezon is a nearshore fish found mostly in California's northern and central coastal areas. It is one of the most important species sought by fishermen in California's live fish fishery. Approximately 50,000 pounds of commercial cabezon have been landed in 2005. Historically, catch rates increase throughout the summer.

In May 2002, the Fish and Game Commission adopted regulations authorizing DFG to close either or both of the recreational or commercial sectors of the cabezon, greenlings, and sheephead fisheries when DFG projects that fisheries will reach their allowable harvest levels.

Two-month cumulative trip limits for the commercial cabezon, greenlings, and sheephead fisheries went into effect in 2004 in order to sustain fisheries throughout the year. The cabezon fishery's two month cumulative trip limit ranges from a low of 100 pounds of fish in the November/December period to a high of 900 pounds in the September/October period per nearshore permit holder.


Conception Reborn
After a long rebuilding process, the popular dive boat Conception has been reborn, much of it new, and better than ever.

On March 23, 2005 the 85 foot-long Conception was stolen from its berth in Santa Barbara, California, rammed into three other vessels on its way out of the harbor, sinking one, and eventually run around 50 miles up the coast near Point Arguello.

Although damage was extensive, she was a tough ship and resilient enough to be dislodged from its rocky resting place and towed to dry dock in Ventura. There the keel, drive-shafts, props, and bow was replaced among extensive repairs to the stern and other sections. Several upgrades have also been made.

The Conception was lowered back into the water August 29th, right on schedule, and has resumed full operation, serving the Channel Islands along with its Truth Aquatics companions, the Truth and Vision.


State of the Kelp Report Published
The first “State of the Kelp” Report from California Coastkeeper Alliance details the accomplishments of the first three years of the Alliance’s Giant Kelp Restoration Program in the Southern California Bight. As described in the Report, from 2001 through 2004 project biologists and almost 200 volunteer scuba divers restored 10,500 square meters of kelp beds in the Bight and educated 6,825 schoolchildren from Santa Barbara to San Diego. Thriving kelp canopies have formed from the Kelp Project’s efforts in as little as eight months, and up to 100-fold increases in fish density and 20 percent increases in fish species diversity have been observed in the restored areas.

“Fully one-fourth of California marine organisms depend on the kelp forests at some part of their life history,” noted Linda Sheehan, Executive Director of the California Coastkeeper Alliance. “Yet pollution, overfishing, El Niño events and other man-made and natural threats have reduced the giant kelp canopies in the Southern California Bight by more than 70 percent over the last several decades. Intervention through efforts such as the Giant Kelp Restoration Project is essential to restore these vital marine habitats.”

The California Coastkeeper Alliance coordinates and supports the work of local California Waterkeeper programs from Humboldt Bay to San Diego in an effort to provide a statewide voice for safeguarding California’s waters, and its world-renowned coast and ocean, for the benefit of all Californians and for California’s future. For more information, visit online.

Reef Research & Awareness: Ancient Coral Found Off Hollywood Florida Waters
Coral's discovery may yield 300 years of data

"We've got this great repository of environmental conditions locked into this coral skeleton, sealed up like a mummy," said Richard Dodge, dean of Nova Southeastern's Oceanographic Center and executive director of the university's National Coral Reef Institute.A huge cone of ancient coral has been discovered in the waters off Hollywood, offering scientists an unusual opportunity to learn about global warming, sewage pollution and the decline of the Everglades. Researchers at Nova Southeastern University have dated the star coral to at least 1694, although they think its origin goes back at least another 50 years. They claim it's the oldest living animal in southeast Florida, and they plan to study its growth rates and chemical composition for clues to the effect of human activities on the environment.

Like tree rings and glacier cores, coral skeletons can yield information about climate and atmospheric conditions hundreds of years before records began. Such historical data are critical to scientists trying to study the effect of pollutants such as carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas.

"We've got this great repository of environmental conditions locked into this coral skeleton, sealed up like a mummy," said Richard Dodge, dean of Nova Southeastern's Oceanographic Center and executive director of the university's National Coral Reef Institute.





In their initial analysis, they discovered low growth from the late 1940s through the 1970s, a period when the draining of the Everglades sent huge amounts of fresh water through the New River into the ocean. Dodge said this piece of evidence could influence government decisions over how to restore the Everglades, an initiative that hasn't given sufficient attention to the potential effect of fresh water on coral.

The coral off Hollywood, which is 8 feet by 14 feet, consists of a thin layer of living tissue at the surface of the calcium cone, which the coral has been building up since the 1600s.

Ken Banks, a reef expert for Broward County's Environmental Protection Department, saw it 20 feet below the surface while diving on the first reef from shore. He reported it to scientists at Nova Southeastern, who set to work with researchers at the University of Miami and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration to sample and study the coral.

They extracted an eight-foot core sample, being careful to plug the gap and avoid harming the coral. Using a masonry saw, they sliced it into thin sections, X-rayed them and used the growth bands to establish the coral's age. Each pair of black-and-white bands represents one year.

Peter Swart, a professor of marine biology and geophysics at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, plans to study the coral's chemical composition for information on ocean temperatures and the effect of sewage.

There has been a running debate about whether sewage from outfall pipes and underground disposal wells could be harming the southeast Florida reefs. Swart will analyze the coral for the presence of a nitrogen isotope associated with sewage, trying to see if it appeared in the coral only after people started disposing of sewage through pipes and wells.

Kevin Helmle, a Ph.D. candidate at Nova Southeastern, is studying the coral to learn how increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and oceans have affected coral growth. Produced by automobiles, power plants and various industrial sources, carbon dioxide is the most widespread of the human-caused gases that trap the sun's heat, causing global warming.

As carbon dioxide settles in the oceans, it causes the water to become more acidic, making it difficult for coral to grow. And as it traps the sun's heat, it raises ocean temperature, which has been linked to poor growth and an unhealthy condition called coral bleaching.

Its growth bands vary in thickness, providing initial indications of which years saw high or low growth. From an initial analysis, low-growth years appear to coincide with known incidences of El Niños, the Pacific warming phenomenon.

Other clues to climate will be found in the coral's chemistry. When water warms, coral incorporates less of the element strontium in its structure. So as they look for evidence of rising ocean temperatures over the past 300 years or so, they will seek trends in the percentage of strontium in the coral.

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updated 9/26/05