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Next Club Dives:

 

This weekend, Sunday April 6th Stillwater Cove Monterey

 

Next Weekend beginning Saturday April 12th, Mendocino Little House

Motorcycle Cove on a BBQ Steak for Dinner day

 

Fred's wedding ring lost at sea

Princess Mary is probably not amused, the Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark has lost his wedding ring.

Dive instructor Steve Tropp, who accompanied the prince on his dive, told Se & Hr magazine that a team of divers spent weeks searching for the ring, which was lost in January."It is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

We have a lot of barracudas out here and they fancy shiny objects so I think it is quite likely that the ring ended up in the belly of a fish. Perhaps it will end up on a dinner table one day."

Probably not amused Princess and hubby

He is believed to have lost the unique band while diving off a coral reef in Key West, Florida. The ring was designed from the first nugget of gold to be mined from Greenland, part of the Danish kingdom.

He said: "There is a big reef out there and Crown Prince Frederik didn't know exactly where he lost it. It seems to be a rather big and expensive ring."


Playful Dolphin Saves Whales

Friendly dolphin, Moko, came to the rescue of two stranded pygmy sperm whales at Mahia on the east coast of New Zealand. Mr Smith had taken a call to say that two whales were stranded on the beach and responded, knowing that the usual outcome is death for the whales...

Mr Smith said "Generally speaking when pygmy sperm whales strand they end up dying, or they are refloated only to strand again later in the day and die. We worked for over an hour to try to get them back out to sea. . . but they kept getting disorientated and stranding again. There is a large sandbar just off the shore so that could have been very confusing for them - they obviously couldn't find their way back past it to the sea." The whales were tiring quickly after four attempts to refloat them and thoughts were beginning to turn to euthanasia for the pair. It was at this point that Moko, who likes to play with the locals, turned up, possibly after hearing the calls from the distressed pair.

Moko with an unidentified swimmer

"She just came straight for us and escorted the two whales along the beach and out through the channel. The whales were sitting on the surface of the water quite distressed, they had arched their backs and were calling to one another, but as soon as the dolphin turned up they submerged into the water and followed her. It was amazing. It was like she grabbed them by the flipper and led them to safety," Mr Smith said. Moko led the whales out past the sandbar until they reached the sea and then returned herself to play close to the shore. The whales have not been seen since, so it is presumed she led them far enough out to sea for them to leave the area.

Oh yeah, new abalone regs and there's a video ( Department of Fish and Game is using You Tube)

Abalone fishing season to open April 1;
New tagging requirement
Mar. 18, 2008

Contact:
Jerry Kashiwada, Marine Region, (707) 964-5791
Carrie Wilson, Office of Communications, (831) 649-7191
Steve Martarano, Office of Communications, (916) 322-8639

The season for California’s popular red abalone sport fishery will open April 1 in waters north of San Francisco Bay. New in 2008, the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) will now require free divers and shore pickers of all ages who pursue this mollusk to have an abalone report card and to tag their catch immediately after exiting the water.

“California’s red abalone is a very important and valuable fishery resource,” said Nancy Foley, Chief of DFG’s Law Enforcement Division. “This new regulation should enable our law enforcement officers to better enforce regulations designed to prevent the overharvest of this abalone fishery.”

While the abalone report card is not new this year, the tagging requirement is. The new regulation will allow DFG to better track abalone taken from California waters and ultimately manage the species more effectively.

“The abalone report cards have greatly increased the consistency of our estimates of annual take and are a vital source of information needed to manage this resource,” said Associate Marine Biologist Jerry Kashiwada. “The tags will help address the issue of people neglecting to fill out their cards and help ensure annual limits are not exceeded. The new requirement will allow us to account for abalone taken by persons under 16 years of age and on free fishing days. In the past those numbers were largely unknown.”

California 2008 Sport Fishing Regulations for Abalone are as follows:

* Red abalone may be taken from April 1 through June 30; and from Aug. 1 through Nov. 30 in California’s waters north of San Francisco. The sport fishery is closed in July to allow abalone a recovery period during this traditionally high-take period.
* The daily bag limit is three per day, with a maximum of 24 abalone per year.
* Abalone taken must measure at least 7 inches in diameter.
* Abalone may only be taken by hand or by abalone irons. Scuba gear and surface-supplied air are prohibited.
* Free divers and shore pickers (16 years or older) must possess a valid sport fishing license. Abalone report cards are required by everyone fishing for or taking abalone.
* Report cards are required on all abalone fishing days, including the two free fishing days, June 7 and Sept. 27.
* Abalone must be tagged immediately upon exiting the water or immediately upon boarding a vessel, whichever comes first. Persons using non-motorized vessels (like kayaks) may wait until reaching shore to tag their abalone and record information on their abalone report cards.
* All abalone must be tagged with a detachable tag corresponding to the abalone report card of the diver/picker. Even abalone given to others must retain the tags until ready for immediate consumption. Tags separated from abalone report cards prior to use are invalid. Tags must remain attached to abalone report cards until an abalone is being tagged.
* Abalone must remain in the shell with tags attached until being prepared for immediate consumption.

Everyone engaging in the take of abalone is responsible for knowing and abiding by all California Marine Sport Fishing Regulations pertaining to abalone. DFG has produced a short video that demonstrates the new tagging procedures that will be required. To view this video online and to see a complete list of abalone fishing regulations, log on to www.dfg.ca.gov/education/video/AbaloneRegulations.html. A complete list of abalone fishing regulations is available in the 2008 Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, which is available wherever fishing licenses are sold or online at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/pdfs/oceanfish2008.pdf.

Abalone cling to rocks, from wave-swept intertidal ledges, to deep ocean reefs where they feed on kelp and other algae. It can take nine years or more for abalone on the north coast to grow to legal size for harvest, and those animals must supply the fishery for several years to come. Similar to rockfish, they are a long-lived species but have low rates of reproduction.

Currently, the only sustainable abalone fishery in California is in the northern region of the state, which has remained productive for nearly 60 years. In 2006, the last year numbers are available, the estimated catch was 264,000 abalone.

Data from the abalone report cards and targeted surveys such as telephone surveys have improved both the amount and the accuracy of data available to DFG biologists. “This all translates into more accurate annual harvest estimates,” Kashiwada said.

According to recent telephone surveys contracted by DFG to increase information on the abalone catch, an estimated 32,400 fishermen tried to catch abalone in 2006, and spent an estimated $9.9 million in northern California communities. However, each dollar directly spent on abalone fishing stimulates a trickle-down effect of additional spending as it enters local economies. When these additional expenditures are taken into account, the total economic impact of the abalone fishery for 2006 is estimated at more than $14 million.

Abalone report cards must be returned to DFG within 60 days of the close of the season (due Jan. 31, 2009). Report cards should be mailed to DFG’s Fort Bragg field office and laboratory, 19160 South Harbor Drive, Fort Bragg, CA 95437-5798; the cards can be submitted early. Regulations also require that abalone report cards be returned even if no abalone were taken.

 

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