Dear Editor:

I write regarding the Jan. 6 headline, “Locals say sea life at risk over Pillar Point harvesting” and the subsequent Jan. 13 article headlined, “Who's harvesting Pillar Point mussels?” I believe that a fundamental fact was not communicated to your readers.

The reproductive potential of these sessile species is so huge that the harvesting has no impact on their population. These and other “r-selected” species produce billions of eggs. The vast majority become larvae that die naturally because there is no available location for the veligers to anchor to and grow. Rest assured that these newly open attachment points near Pillar Point will soon be populated.

Our ocean faces many serious environmental problems. Let us focus on them.

James Larkin

Half Moon Bay

Editor’s note: Larkin has two biology degrees and is a former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration employee. While we have no reason to doubt Larkin’s scientific command of marine biology, readers should know there are government regulations limiting the take.

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