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From the Boston Globe:
"The report, which took nearly a decade to complete, does recommend
tightening restrictions around whale-watching boats and creating buffer
zones around historic shipwrecks on the sea floor."
From the Boston Globe: "The report, which took nearly a decade to complete, does recommend tightening restrictions around whale-watching boats and creating buffer zones around historic shipwrecks on the sea floor."
I think they're talking about restricting trawling near the wrecks, not diving.
With all due respect, and as someone who has been involved with this process for more than two years, albeit on the periphery, they are in fact talking about restricting diving on wrecks. Many other people are much more involved and have expended a great deal more time and effort than I, but this is what I've come to understand thus far. It looks like there may be some type of "permitting process" to allow research on the wrecks. Of course the bureaucrats would decide who gets the permit. None of this is a done deal yet . . . but all indications are that's the way things are heading.
The folks at http://shipwreckdivers.org/ have the best source for information as the author of that site sits on the board representing the dive community. It is however only one seat among many others representing other much larger and more powerful user groups and special interests.
I'm just the messenger . . . you guys and gals decide if this is worth your attention.
"(3.5) Develop and implement a mooring buoy system on
historic sites in collaboration with affected parties and
regional scuba diving charter operators. Mooring buoys
may be emplaced to protect historic sites from anchor
damage and facilitate safe scuba diving."
"The NMSA mandates that the National Marine Sanctuary
Program manage maritime heritage resources in a fashion
that protects the resources while facilitating compatible
public and private use of the resources."
I don't take from this plan that they have any interest in shutting divers out of the sanctuary. They might restrict access on certain wrecks they consider of particular historic/archeological significance but I think you're stretching it a bit when you make comments like this:
Originally Posted by wreckedinri
Do you think that our government and its power hungry minions will stop at restricting diving on wrecks only in the Sanctuary?
... They might restrict access on certain wrecks they consider of particular historic/archeological significance ...
Camel's nose under the tent.
As with all government meddling in the affairs of free people, it comes down to "who decides?"
When the decisionmaker is some pointy-headed bureaucrat, "historic/archeological significance" can suddenly expand to the 10,000 pound marshmallow. You can push and pull all you want; you'll just get all gooey and you won't move it.
Just for sake of clarification, as I understand it that would only be for specific historically important wrecks and not every wreck in the sanctuary.
I understand you probably would like to see no restrictions, and if you want to make an argument for that, that's fine, but let's not make this out to be more than it really is.
I understand that it may appear that I am over-reacting. Those items that you point out were included (moorings etc.) in the draft plan because of diver involvment and input. Me thinks to appease a small vocal user group. However, the disturbing element is the "permiting process". That is where the power to regulate will lie. I have personally dealt with and spoken directly to NOAA representatives, and I will catagorically state that I would rather make a deal with a snake-oil salesman instead of trusting them.
As for which wrecks, yes; only historically "significant" sites. But who decides what is significant? The Palmer and Crary? Two coal schooners? And before anyone thinks that those wrecks are "too deep" for recreational dives, who would have thought 30 years ago that we would be doing dives on the Bass on a regular basis? In fact divers are currently visiting the Palmer and Crary.
I'm not advocating rioting in the streets here. Heck; in the end I truly hope that I am wrong and these are but wasted key strokes. However, let us merely be vigilant and not take what we have for granted.
Last edited by wreckedinri; May 8th, 2008 at 06:49 AM.
Interesting topic and since I am not a wreck diver, I am not sure how I feel about it. In some aspects I am all for preservation and protection, but I am not real big on restriction. Self regulation doesn't always work either so I am not sure what the answer is.