Posted by seahunt on August 27, 2004 at 14:04:03:
In Reply to: Sportfishing Blamed in Depletion posted by on August 27, 2004 at 02:44:14:
True enough, but that's not the whole story
The commercial fishermen get 90% of the crop before the sport fishermen even get there. It is economical for the commercial folks to get there when the crop is unharvested and they can economically harvest the crop. What the sport fishermen get is the leavings.
A very good example of this is the abalone. The commercial fishers had a slightly higher size limit than the sport fishers. The idea being that there would be some left for the sport fishers after the commercial fishers went through. What few divers know about is that it was always economical for the commercial fishers to stay a bit ahead of the sport divers. They cleaned out 90% or so of the stocks and left the rest, the small ones, for the sport fishers. Few sport divers ever got to the outer islands to ever see this.
So by the time the abalone harvest was closed in the south, the sport fishers were taking a fair percentage of the abalone compared to the commercial fishers, but that was only because the commercial fishers had already taken 90% of the total crop and it wasn't as economical for them to even fish anymore.
With this came the fact that it was the sport fishers that essentially finished off the abalone in the south, but it was the commercial fishers that started it and they took (as I said) 90% of the whole crop.
This is true of most fish crops a well as other wild crops. The commercial interests start harvesting in untouched areas well before anyone else sees what is there. By the time wild stocks are examined, most of them are gone and so the data on populations is incorrect. The commercial interests have good reason not to want the truth to be known.
When it comes to local fish stocks, tuna or swordfish, The stocks were heavily depleted by the commercial fishers before the sport fishers even started to compete with them.
Even with the marine preserves, there needs to be dock limits for the commercial fishers. Sport fishers alone do not usually lead to depleted stocks. The stocks are depleted before the sport fishers add their strain on them.
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