Letter: The commercial fisherman always gets the blame
I see in the Gazette-Journal where a friend has now become a criminal because of catching a rockfish! These fish have become a political football in the years since their return. Every time I see anything to do with their original demise, overfishing is always thrown out there, though I don’t believe that anyone knows what happened or where they went. You hear little of how polluted the upper rivers where these fish spawn once was. Always blame the commercial guy; that is the default setting.
I actually had to give up pound fishing due to an overpopulation of these predators. I allowed net-full after net-full to escape, day after day. Other fish won’t go into a pound net if rockfish are already in it. This year, our tags/pounds of catch have been cut yet again as the rockfish continues to eat up everything in the bay: crabs, shad, gray trout, you name it.
We protect them as our new favorite son because sports fishing for these trophies is a big-money industry, while science is ignored. Anyone would know that you can’t allow the fox to control the henhouse or soon the hens will be gone and the fox, too, will starve to death.
They have all of these various zones out there. Kill a fish here, don’t kill a fish there. Fishermen and oystermen need to go where the catch is available during whatever season with whatever size/catch limit.
I see the catch and release of pedophiles, crack dealers and murderers all the time and the treasonous acts of politicians of every stripe go unpunished while this man is in jeopardy of losing his livelihood and others of their freedoms.
This is sickening at best and another case of class warfare at worst. Commercial fishermen—be they charter boaters or gillnetters—provide fresh, wholesome food to the masses, as well as wonderful experiences in the case of the charter boat fishery. I didn’t include the pound net as I was the last pound fisherman from Gwynn’s Island and Capt. Burroughs of New Point has had to hang up his boat hook and net needle.
Maybe when murderers are hanged, pedophiles are permanently institutionalized and drug dealers get life in prison (they are fairly destroying our society hereabouts) I will be able to be shocked, awed and appalled at someone stepping over a line deer hunting or rockfishing.
There are more than enough menhaden for the fleet to fish, crabs to dredge and rockfish to eat and sell!
Capt. David Callis