Return of the King

Stereolepis gigas doesn’t sound much like a king’s name. It sounds more like someone you’re going to buy a gyro from. Don’t be deceived however because this is is the scientific handle of one of the most magnificent creatures you’re likely to encounter diving here in California — the Giant Sea Bass(GSB).

kingAptly named because it is actually quite giant, this highly protected species seems to be making a bit of a comeback from it’s darkest day in the early 80’s when California DFG(now the DFW) officials were scrambling to protect this vulnerable and venerable giant from rod and spear. Following a ban on gill netting in nearshore waters in 1994, sightings increased and  casual observations over the past 10 to 15 years seem to indicate that this king of the kelp forest is making a comeback. To get real answers, GSB turned to real scientists and the process of collecting relevant data has been carried out in earnest. As a result, we now know a lot more about the life cycle of the GSB than we ever did before and are therefore better equipped to conserve this magnificent creature. One of the lead scientist in the study of Giant Sea bass, Dr. Larry Allen, Biology department Chair at Cal State Northridge and leading GSB expert, is giving a presentation at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium on February 3 to discuss what we now know about the GSB and  their chances for recovery. Presented by Alta Sea, this a great chance to learn more about our impact on the animals of the kelp forest and how we can make a difference through community based programs such as the Giant Sea Bass Collective organized through a joint program through CSUN and UCSB. It looks to be a great evening and best of all it’s free. So don’t be a uniformed bump on the log. Get out out of the rain and down to San Pedro. We look forward to seeing you out there.

Discovery Lecture Series
presented by AltaSea and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Friday, February 03, 2017
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

The Return of the Kelp Forest King

By Dr. Larry G. Allen, California State University, Northridge

Larry is currently Chair and Professor of Biology at California State University Northridge. He has co-authored and edited many publications on the biogeography and ecology of marine fishes of the Pacific coast of North America including the books, “The Ecology of Marine Fishes: California and Adjacent Waters” and “A Field Guide to the Coastal Fishes from Alaska to California.” Dr. Allen will discuss the information that he and his graduate students have compiled on the demise and recent return of the apex predator of California’s southern kelp forests, the Giant Sea Bass, Stereolepis gigas.

Click here for teacher resources related to this lecture.

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Copyright (c) Phillip Colla, all rights reserved worldwide

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It’s Election Day! Please Vote for the Love of the Ocean


Photo and awful, awful pun courtesy of someone who shall remain nameless because i told her I thought it was funny earlier today and now I deeply regret that decision.

Today is a big day in America whether you’re a red diver or a blue one. As people who care about the ocean, we have a chance and responsibility to speak  for an ocean that needs our help because it cannot speak for itself. So when you’re out there voting, think about who is going to protect the ocean and who is going to exploit it. Think about who is going to support science-based management and who is going to say “I’m no scientist but…” And finally, think about who is going to champion the ocean for the love of our world on behalf of all humanity. #allvotesmatter

Posted in Community service, conservation, Historical Importance, sustainable, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

It’s Lobster Opener. Be safe and don’t get shot

Pretty provocative title isn’t it? I know you were probably expecting our annual opener post where we talk about dive boat etiquette and personal safety but this year I thought I’d try to freak you out. Seems a group of divers in Florida have decided that a really great way to cull the invasive lionfish population is by using modified Glock handguns to clear the reefs. It speaks for itself, reloads, and speaks for itself for a whole second clip. As if you opening night divers didn’t have enough to worry about jumping in the ocean at midnight, now you have to contend with open carry at 60 feet too. Well, enjoy the video and keep an eye out for my upcoming review of the new line of Body Glove Kevlar rash guards. They fit like a glove and can stop rounds down range  from an AK-47.  They of course  come in day-glow orange and green. Now prepare to have your mind blown by not just the video but also by the just god awful music accompanying it.

(Editors note: Please disregard the subjects mentioned in this article, some of the language, and the author in general. Just have a safe and sane opener. See you out there.)

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Los Angeles Waterkeeper Divers Battle The Devil……weed off of Palos Verdes!

A few months ago, CFD spent some time talking about the importance of divers working as stewards of their own local waters  by profiling the Los Angeles Waterkeeper and their Dive Program Manager Ian Jacobson. LAWK divers had just finished their part in a  NOAA-funded kelp restoration project in the Los Angeles South Bay and were looking for support and participation for their next project, the removal of sargassum horneri, an invasive algae taking advantage of El Nino warming to run wild all over the Southern California Bight. We’ll, Ian and his divers are in full swing, and with the help of NOAA scientists,  are using new technology to remove the devil weed from great swaths of our nearshore rocky reefs. The Los Angeles Daily Breeze recently profiled the efforts of these divers and it’s well worth the read. It’s also a great example of what an impact local citizens can do to directly benefit our nearshore environment. For a chance to help, check out the dive program page at Los Angeles Waterkeeper and find out what you can do .  Another link to the article appears below. Just click on the pretty scary picture.


The horneri is as high as an Elephant’s eye! Click on the scary photo by Adam Obaza to see the Daily Breeze article.

Posted in Community service, conservation, Divers You Should Know, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s World Oceans Day!

Gorg_kelpbass_Garibaldi_P. CollaHappy World Oceans Day. In our ever changing world, the ocean is one thing that unites us all and she can use our help. Make a difference today. ‪#‎SeaSaveFoundation‬, ‪#‎Oceana‬, ‪#‎OceanConservancy‬, ‪#‎ReefCheck‬, ‪#‎HealtheBay‬, ‪#‎LosAngelesWaterkeepers‬, ‪#‎GetInspired‬.

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Your Scuba Show 2016 Primer


Click here for show info and advanced tickets

Another year, another trip to the Long Beach Convention Center for the annual gathering of our local dive community. So much to see and so much to enjoy right? Okay, maybe not so much to enjoy but there are some gems if you take the time to seek them out.  So what do you want to look for? Follow us here at CFD as we discuss how you can maximize your scuba show experience.

First off, you should look for innovative new dive products. Seriously. Look for them. I challenge you. No, they’re no there. Or over there.  Okay, I jest. There are really no new products. Maybe an innovative water bottle or some new way to clip your mask to your wetsuit in day glow colors. That’s it. Roll outs are usually at industry trade shows so don’t be surprised if you …don’t be surprised? It gets better though.

How does it get better? I’ll tell you. Looking to travel? A dive vacation on the agenda for 2017? You’re home with Scuba Show. The 4 corners of the globe are covered under one large, flat convention center roof. There is something for everybody from local boats with special show packages to long-range excursion trips to tropical atolls. Try checking out Eric Bowman and the Peace dive boat out of VenturaPeace or Keith Sahm with Grand Cayman’s ever popular Sunset House. Both are great operators for the discerning diver.

Looking to do something closer to home that gets you in the water and helps conserve and protect our local waters, then visit the outer netherlands that is non-profit row. Situated outside the convention center floor by the main entrance, this is where you go to find volunteer dive opportunities that can fill you with both dive opportunities and personal self-satisfaction year round. Talk to Ian Jacobson at Los Angeles Waterkeeper or Colleen Wisniewski at the Reef Check Foundation to see how you can make a difference.  Both have great diving programs that you’ll be glad to be a part of.Logo300x300

Don’t forget the seminars btw. Lots of good stuff to hear and see. There are all sorts of topics covered from Travel to dive accident analysis. A little bit of something for everybody. Check out Saturday’s schedule for a sample of what might float your personal dive boat.

Finally, don’t forget to say hi to all your old dive friends or maybe, make some future new old dive friends. Catch up over a couple of 8 to 10 dollar LBCC beers and talk about the good old days and better ones to come. This show is really all about community and reconnecting with something pretty special. As for me, look for me on aisle 1. I’ll be the 250 lb man modeling Slipskin dive skins sporting a tiparillo with a sake and soda. You won’t want to miss it but you should.

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Happy Earth Day!

It’s Earth Day and at least 2/3rds of said Earth is beautiful blue ocean.  It’s only appropriate that you get your bass out there and celebrate. It’s also a good time to think about and reflect on the multitude of problems that we are dealing with here in our local waters. So, while you’re tossing back a salutatory cold one remember, that even after your gear is cleaned and put away, a diver’s work is never done. We’ll see you out there.


Won’t somebody think of the divers?

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