Yeah, well, this is where Andy and Pete put a spanner in my works.
I am a thorn in the side of those on DiveOz who are associated/supportive of the sinking (now sunk) of X-HMAS Canberra just outside of Port Phillip Bay in Victoria.
I would constantly 'hawrasse' by stating that such things as "Dumping Rubbish", "...might as well throw in a few Shopping Trolleys", "...they strip the Ship under the pretense of 'Safety' yet blast anyone who tries to strip an already established Wreck - before they do under the new Heritage Law being changed from 75 years to 50 years (so they have a better chance to beat the Private sector)", "...they strip the Ship under the pretense of 'Safety' yet blast anyone who tries to strip an already established Wreck - preferring the Wrecks to be left 'untouched' with all their decaying and rusting 'accessories' that would be better preserved above surface", in their own words 'Trash for Treasure' - "they are dumping unwanted military 'rubbish' to capitialise upon sucking as much $$$money out of the Dive Tourism sector under the pretense that they are making an 'Artificial Reef' for the benefit of the marine environment and all things life aquatic", "they are dumping as many Ships as they can in that area to create a 'Truk Lagoon'-like dive Mecca and believe that some original Wrecks in the area justify this act."
I also mention that there is no guarrantee that these falsely advertised (so they can sneak these X-ships under the radar so to speak) 'Artificial Reefs' don't always attract aquatic growth and life, in fact many don't or it is just minimal growth upon the outside of a hull and a school of Bullseyes (& a big grumpy Wobbegong Shark). The Bombo has been a Wreck in my local Wollongong area for ages and it still is a rust bucket with minimal growth and life - a Bommie has much much more to show for it.
My stance is that these acts of dumping/sinking X-naval ships justifies all other acts of dumping rubbish around the world. Even now, USA and Nippon (just to name a couple) are sending giant barges full of rubbish out into the deep ocean to be 'dumped'. Try to stop them and they will probably hold up signs saying "Artificial Reef" like Whalers hold up signs saying "Scientific Research" !!
The X-HMAS Canberra was sunk on the weekend and if you see the U-Tubes, you will notice that it was so 'safety-stripped' (possibly of everything of worth) that it hardly resembled a naval ship at all. Just another peice of rubbish.
This is where Andy and Pete come in: They both stressed the point (quite wisely I might add) that 'until I come up with something better to offer and actually put it out there, then I really should stop harassing'. I take this into consideration with Andy being a (former?) Designer who worked upon large Ships which were planned in consideration with the 'afterlife' of the ship in regardes to costs effective of recycling.
So with this in mind, I apologised upon DiveOz...but I still have an occassional dig. (I still spew that I wasted 7 years of my life in Victoria. I tried to get to Tasmania for some reason, but never made it and by the time I had to return to NSW via South Australia, it was too late to realise that I should have went there instead.)
If I don't do it. Then I hope there comes a more 'real' Organisation that stands up for 'Artificial Reefs' in a more appropriate and considerate manner than the likes of VARS (Victorian Artifical Reef Society). I would like to believe that there are people out there who actually put research and artistic value into Artificial Reefs by designing what is needed by Aquatic Life and Growth (even specifically for that area) that will enhance in many ways for the benefit of not just Divers (and specifically Photographic Divers) in the name of Touri$m, but Spearos and Fishermen as well. I say this as I was impressed with the Poor Knights Islands, so an Artificial Reef should be able to provide a safe sanctuary to aid in the proliferation of species from the immediate effects of direct Fishing methods (that are constantly improving and becoming more efficient in their catching), but still provide a 'spillover' that satisfies the needs of Fishing and Spearfishing. I prefer the SpearFishing selective approach personally as I believe this method can move on from just a weekend yobbo trophy act, to a more honourable and professional culture with more constructive aims.
...as for NZ Conga Eels? Well I personally would be freaked right out if one poked his head in my field of vision. It must be because I am Aussie and Conga Eels look like big snakes. Gotta take a shovel with me whenever I go out an walk to the outer sheds on the property where I work: a Red-bellied Black Snake will try to get away (unless cornered) but a Brown Snake will just sneak up to have a go at ya. We do have a pet eel in the water purification dams, which I feed with the odd dead chicklet. I have to bin thousands (I mean thousands) of gassed unwanted chicklets recently hatched - a real waste. But thats a different story.