This is Captain Markham Dickson, I run a coastal charter, “Salty Dog”, out of Shell Beach. I also deck handed for a while down in Venice, but basically I am just a guy who grew up here in Louisiana and care about it’s fish. I am just writting this message as a fellow fisherman. Basically I wanted to bring up the fact that in many cases all over the world, local fisherman and fish populations are hurt buy overfishing from massive commercial “factory ships”. I just thought maybe some of you guys would like to have a voice in this matter. After all it’s our home and our fish stocks and I know all of you care very much about this from a personal level, as well as that mutual respect we have for the fish we chase every day. The issue I wanted to bring to your attention involves commercial swordfish and tuna fishing in the Gulf.
I recently heard that they are trying to change the regulation in the Gulf in regards to commercial swordfish and tuna fishing. The reason they want to push this change is to stop the amount of by-catch, specifically the by-catch of the critically endangered bluefin. But techniques such as long-lines kill many other species that are wasted as well. Species we catch by rod and reel in a respectful and sustainable number. Protect our livelihoods and these fish we love at the same time by letting these guys know we want to do this a different way!
I know that most fisherman respect wildlife and nature more than the average person. That’s why I am writing you guys. As fisherman we know that commercial fishing is sometimes very hard on fish stocks when the new technology becomes, “too good”. Global fish stocks are dropping at alarming rates and I think we all know that if we dropped back fishing technology 100 years the fish would recovery very quickly. Rod’n’reel never pushed fish to extinction… Its just not efficient enough. The major problems are spotter planes coupled with giant nets, long lines, and mega trawlers. I am talking about factory ships out there reeping the ocean for the pure sake of $$The bottom line$$.
We need to turn back time! If we gave them just a few years breeding these fish would recover. The open ocean is not a crippled habitat. So the populations would come back healthy state to meet the healthy habitat.
Check out this video of how it used to be done! : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5dOLiF9fjk
Here is link to a area still doing it this way. : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HP6rYThJWUg
Basically I am asking if you could answer this petition and show the powers that be that we captains care about the fish in the Gulf. Bluefin spawn in our waters every year. Let’s do what we can to make sure they will still be around to do so! These guys are trying to give the commercial boats working in the gulf a different way to make their catch of yellowfin and swordfish without wasting these bluefin on accidental by-catch. They are planning on using BP cash to help them buy new gear and do this a different way.
This link below will send a message to NOAA. NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service is responsible for the management, conservation and protection of living marine resources within the United States' Exclusive Economic Zone (water three to 200 mile offshore). Go here to send them a message… https://secure3.convio.net/grn/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=413&JServSessionIdr004=f27516v9f6.app333b
Be sure to let them know you’re a Louisiana fisherman. I think the voices of local fishermen are important and should be respected.
Just let them know how much the bluefin, and all other pelagic fish killed as bycatch, matter to we fisherman. The bluefin are the biggest of the big. I know myself I think of them in almost a sacred way. They are the BIGFISH we all search for our whole life. I have never even seen one and I still feel compelled to save them. We have to do anything we can now to change the course of their fate, or we will have to forever live with what we have done.
Captain Markham Dickson
Salty Dog Charters, L.L.C
P.S. What do all you guys who fish out of Delacroix /Shell Beach/Hopedale thing of those big pogie ships that operate out at the end of the MRGO rocks? I have seen miles of bullred and jacks floating down a rip a couple times and I feel they were discarded from these ships. Miles of dead bullreds is not good for our fishery… Also all the other bycatch that is most likely ground up into fish meal with the pogies or disguarded. Feel free to email me back about this I would like to know everyone elses opinions on the impact of these ships in Breton Sound.
Posted: June 27, 2012 at 7:38 am | 805 Views | 1 Comments
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