On July 21, 1999 at San Carlos Beach (The Breakwater in Monterey) within the Ed Ricketts Underwater Park (ERUP), I witnessed divers from Underwater World at Pier 39 making multiple dives removing a large amount of fish and a lot of other marine life under a scientific permit from the California Department of Fish and Game. I question the appropriateness of driving 100 miles south from their facility to an underwater park within the MBNMS to collect their specimens when these specimens can be collected at other site much closer to their facility.

Underwater World is located at Pier 39 in San Francisco(about 100 miles north of Monterey) and publicizes that they display San Francisco Bay marine life in their aquariums. The Monterey Bay Aquarium which is located on the shore of the ERUP has gone on record supporting the ERUP by stating they will not take fish and marine life from the ERUP for use in their aquariums.

I have spoken with both the Curator and the General Manager of Underwater World in an attempt to get a written commitment that Underwater World will no longer take marine life out of the ERUP. I had explained this would be a win-win situation for all involved in that we could tell the diving community that Underwater World was supporting the ERUP, the conservation community, and the diving community with this commitment. Underwater World refuses to make this commitment.

Here is the plan:

1. We need divers to send letters to General Manager of Underwater World asking him to write a letter stating they will support the Ed Ricketts Underwater Park by not collecting marine specimens from the ERUP. The address is as follows:

John Frawley, General Manager

Underwater World Pier 39

Embarcadero at Beach Street

San Francisco, CA 94533

  1. I have an appointment with a Harbor Masterís representative in San Francisco on Friday August 13, 1999 to identify the public areas of Pier 39.

3. If we do not receive the written commitment we are seeking from Underwater World we will ask dive clubs, shops, etc. to each sponsor a weekend day in the next couple of months. With the number of clubs and shops in Central and Northern California we should be able to fill up most weekends between now and the end of the year. On the weekends we will hand out leaflets and carry signs in the public areas of Pier 39. Pier 39, who owns Underwater World, does not want this publicity. I think one or two weekends with publicity from the press and television will have the desired result and we will have our written commitment. I would like to begin setting up this schedule now so please send me a private email stating the earliest weekend date your club or group can help us at Pier 39.


David Clayton, Diver Representative

MBNMS Advisory Board