Commercial Fishing vs. Sport fishing

I find myself conflicted.  I really detest fishing nets and long line fishing.  On the other hand, I like cheap fish at my local stores!  How do we find a middle ground? Wikipedia has a fairly good pro and con article on Long Line Fishing which I will not regurgitate here.  But, the long and short of it is the various jurisdictions are working hard with the commercial fisheries to craft both product and procedures to avoid the negative aspects of Long Line Fishing yet keep it as a viable means of meeting our commercial fish production needs.

What are the primary negative aspects?  From an ecological point of view, they are:  Catching unwanted species of fish;  catching birds–about 100,000 albatross die each year as a result of long line fishing per the Wiki article; and catching turtles.  I will add one more to that.  They just take too many fish.  A multi mile long line with hundreds or even thousands of hooks has the capability to decimate the fish population in an area.  In fairness, the law recognizes the state of the fishery and limits or raises the number of hooks permitted based on the number of fish available to catch.

My strong feelings are based on what I observed in Hawaii.  I do not recall why, but a number of long liner boats were fishing near Guam or Samoa, I forget which, and went afoul of the government or the people there. In any case, they moved to Hawaii.  They were dragging lines within legal limits; however, were not obeying local custom. Local custom, if I recall correctly said long liners had to stay at least 20 miles out; however, legally, they could be within a few, two or three? miles of the shore.  They were encouraged to obey local custom but declined. There was virtually an instant decline of the fisheries within 20 miles of the coast and this was the fishery the tourist trade, local recreational and small scale commercial fishers used.  I am not aware of the politics involved, but, would guess the powers that be within the local community, the business community and the ethnic Hawaiian as a subset of the local community raised such a stink the state government felt compelled to change the rules and pushed that long line fishing limit back out to the 20 mile, or perhaps even the 26 mile limit.  The close in fishery almost immediately began to get better.

So as a recurring theme, we need to continue to seek that middle ground where we preserve our resources, recognize the value of all the players and consumers and determine how to meet our corporate needs as people, yet meet the needs of each of the groups involved.  Total environmental fascism is clearly not the answer.  Neither is fishing it all out until it is gone.  God has given us huge resources and technological skill and a huge amount of ocean.  Let’s see how to put it all together.

While the brilliant minds are out their figuring out how to do this, check out my Emmrod fishing system at www.mycompactfishing.com which you can access at any of the following addresses: www.emmrodfishingfun.com, www.emmrodfishing.info, www.whybuyemmrod.com, www.emmrodeastwashington.com, www.emmrodfunstore.com, www.emmrodidaho.com, www.emmrodfun.com

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