Nearshore fisheries

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Posted by JRM on April 11, 2001 at 14:30:55:

In Reply to: Re: It's Time To Be Responsible posted by mike on April 11, 2001 at 11:40:06:

I'm sorry Mike, but here I must disagree. I also applaud Jim's actions, and if I ever go on his boat I'll leave the cannon at home.

But the nearshore fishery is being DEVESTATED by commercial harvest. It's the live fish commercial guys that are absolutely raping everything within the three mile limit. There's currently a huge movement in the freedive arena to ban commercial fishing within the three mile limit. I attended a DF&G commision meeting in Oakland a week or two ago, and the commercial guys got an eye opener! There basically are no more rockfish. Period, end of story. In the last ten years, since the nearshore live commercial fishing started, they've wiped em out.

So I must disagree with your assertion that the typical fish caught by divers are not a large part of the commercial catch. Live fish, which can only be brought up from less than 120' (and even then there's a swim bladder problem with some species), are worth 1000 more than dead fish. And even worse, they use traps and stick gear, which aren't affected by kelp. Kelp used to be a natural barrier to fishing, because it's hard to fish from the surface. With the use of this gear (which was declared extremely harmfull in DFG's own 1993 study), they can wipe out entire coves. And they're targeting the juveniles, because they're the perfect size to fry whole.

There should be a petition at your local dive or fishing shop to completely ban nearshore commercial fishing. Read it, and sign it. If your shop doesn't have one, email me and I'll send you one, or put you in touch with the guy heading the drive up. We're going to take back the nearshore, hopefully while there is something left.

Sorry to get on the soapbox, but this is one issue that always gets me going. Heck, I drove 3.5 hours one way just to get up and speak for my 1.5 minutes.


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