Texas is making another grab to put all the red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico under their ‘management’ system. This creates a Congressional platform to launch a propaganda effort making red snapper a gamefish like they did redfish. That is not actually stated in their first year plan passed by the Gulf Council, but you can bet your bippy the goal for the next decade is to allocate all the red snapper for anglers.
Non-boaters have a civil right to share in the red snapper the same as the anglers. If we are wrong please show us the data proving only those with the most political power get the fish. There is much talk about conservation, but you cannot have conservation without contemporaneous record-keeping.
President U.S. Grant, appointed Spencer Baird in 1871, as Commissioner of Fisheries. He was authorized to undertake the first assessment of our nation’s fish resources in the late 1800s. Record-keeping for commercial fishing has been ongoing ever since. There has been robust statistics from record-keeping in Florida since 1895 for commercial landings, but not for what the anglers catch.
In a recent video on FaceBook, the founder of the Florida Sportsman magazine opines that commercial fishermen don’t have anything going for them except they have always commercially fished. It’s obvious somebody didn’t do their homework to learn that the commercial fishing tradition is much older than the United States or even America, but that is another story.
Until recently many anglers did not want to buy licenses because they felt it was their God-given right to fish when and where they wanted to fish. Commercial fish are recorded and tracked from the boat to the throat. The commercial fishing landings show in great detail how much fish goes to the market to feed those with or without the ability to catch their own. The anglers have the same right as everyone else to take a fair share of the commonly owned fish, but they do not have a superior right that denies those of us without boats our right to eat fish.
Chris Browne’s Hagar the Horrible once said words to the effect;” Friends may come and friends may go, but a good enemy will last a lifetime.”
That is the line the cca adopted in 1976 when it was founded and initially funded by a Houston oil tycoon. Commercial fishermen, especially net fishermen, became the ‘enemy’ that cca blames the ills of the fishing world on.
The commercial fishermen are the enemy of cca, but we are the only way a non-fisher or non-boater can eat domestic fish. Cca believes all the fish in the sea belong to them. We are the poster child whenever they want to make commercial fishing look bad. Why? When did society decide that a person with a boat and motor can partake of the common marine resource, but those without equipment, time and are too old cannot? How can non-boaters be denied a fair allocation of any species of fish? Why can anglers eat a piece of redfish when they want when we seniors and non-boaters can’t even have one serving? Conservation does not mean give all fish to the anglers.
It has been said. “Those greedy commercials just want to line their pockets.”
It is a fact commercial fishermen sell the catch for a profit AND the fish harvested are distributed throughout the nation for human consumption.
It has been said, “Those greedy sport fishing manufacturers and businesses line their pockets.”
It is fact marine manufacturers sell their products for a profit, BUT the fish harvested go only to their customers. THAT IS PRIVATIZATION OF A COMMONLY OWNED MARINE RESOURCE.
Where are we headed? Between cca, Oceana, Ocean Conservancy and a few other NGO’s, the civil rights of a non-boater for access to fresh domestic seafood is in jeopardy
The fight will always be: WHO GETS THE FISH!