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November 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 32, No. 11   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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California’s Giant Sea Bass — Friend or Food?

from the November, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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California giant sea bass

What price would you put on an encounter with one of these iconic California fish that can grow up to six feet (1.95m) long and weigh 500 pounds? Would you prefer that encounter to be underwater or at the fishmonger? We think we know the answer to that second part!

Ana Sofia Guerra has gone to war on behalf of California's giant sea bass. A graduate student at UC Santa Barbara's Dept. of Ecology, Evolution, and Biology, she reckons that divers will spend $2.3 million, compared to a catch worth of $212,600 to the fishing industry. Overall, says Guerra, California hosts 1.38 million dives/year, and the divers spend between $161 and $323 million. Yet few ever see one of these enormous fish, even though they often hang near kelp beds in depths accessible by sport divers....

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