Battle of the Bay

The clash between industry and tourism happens everywhere. In most instances their ability to coexist in the same geographical area is difficult. They need the natural resources in different ways, but not surprisingly both can have a detrimental effect on the natural habitat.

The Monterey coast began as a small ethnic fishing village. The bay had proven to be superb breeding area for marine life. The area had many cultural enclaves competing with one another. Even at this early stage people complained about the implications of the fishing in the bay. Some complained their nets were harming the wild life, but mainly residents not involved in the fishing industry complained about the stench. Locals did everything they could to extricate certain ethnic groups from the area, and be rid of the foul odor.

Concurrently though, the large hotels in the area were causing extreme damage to ecosystem as well. The effect of masses of people living and relaxing on the peninsula was beginning to show. The waste the hotels produced began to damage the marine life. Large amounts of sewage were dumped into the ocean on a fairly regular basis not too far off shore. This caused the marine life to leave the area. Dark mud began to surface in the water as well as along the beach. And an odor began to protrude from the coast. This happened around the time strange insects seemed to be attacking the trees on the peninsula, and city officials had to decide how to save the look of the forest, while not letting it be destroyed by the insects. They wanted to keep it aesthetically pleasing for the tourists and those who purchased homes in the Pebble Beach area. The two industries were working against each other, aggravating the opposite and hurting the other’s industry. The stench of the fisheries was driving tourists away, while the sewage of the tourists was driving the fish away.

As this battle escalated it became apparent that the needs of the two industries were so different that only one could dominate the bay at a time. As the Great Depression swept the nation, and discretionary incomes diminished, loss of completion between fisheries dwindled, and technological advances quickened the fishing process, it appeared the fisheries had triumphed over the flailing tourist industry. Both wars and government contacts were catalysts to the rapid growth of the fishing industry. But the demand was so strong the fisheries again had an extremely detrimental effect on the marine life. They had depleted the natural sardine resource and the industry began the plummet. In the end, their own over aggressive fishing methods led to their downfall.

In the mid 1980s an aquarium opened in one of the abandoned fishery factories. A focus on marine preservation and knowledge became popular as a tourist activity. The coastline slowly developed into a tourist attraction with somewhat of an emphasis on the fishing history of the area. Although tourism “triumphed” over industry (made apparent by the aquariums location in the old factory) the industrious history formed the type of tourism that developed in the area.

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