Friday, February 25, 2011

Petition to Ban Nets in Chesapeake Bay

A petition to abolish nets for harvesting fish in Chesapeake Bay is in the works.  If this issue interests you, I suggest you read it, and make your own decision as to whether to sign it.

I have signed it, but I consider this to be a largely quixotic gesture.  The use of nets in fishing is too deeply ingrained in the culture of fishing, and for such fishing as menhaden, herring and other forage fish, no other means are available, and that won't be banned with the wave of a wand.  However, given the recent spate of egregious gill net violations, I think putting a little fear in the the commercial sector to go straight or have their means of livelihood eliminated might prove to be useful.

You do not need to be a resident of Maryland or Virginia to sign, but I have no doubt that opponents will screen the signatures on that basis.

Stranger thing have happened.  Florida did get inshore nets banned after a long, bitter battle between commercial and recreational fishermen. However, the recreational fishing industry in Florida is enormously more organized and powerful than that of Maryland or Virginia, and the relative power of the inshore commercial fishermen much less.

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