Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Barack Obama Faces A Flotilla Of His Own...

...let's see if the president reacts with the same laissez-faire attitude he expects from the Israelis, now that a fleet of pissed-off fisherman is floating into his vacationsphere. Via JammyWearing Fool:

With the national media gathered on Martha's Vineyard this week for President Barack Obama's vacation, fishermen are seizing the opportunity to organize a floating protest at Vineyard Haven on Thursday.

A flotilla of commercial boats will rendezvous at the harbor entrance at noon to demonstrate that fishermen are less than happy with the Obama administration's oversight of their industry.

Flawed fisheries science, an oppressive law enforcement policy and unnaturally low catch limits are at the heart of the protest, organizers said.

"We don't know the count yet but it will be at least 25 and maybe as much as a hundred boats," said Richie Canastra of the New Bedford Seafood Display Auction.

"Both commercial and recreational fishermen are suffering from a badly flawed law, the Magnuson Act," said Jim Donofrio, executive director of Recreational Fishing Alliance.

The federal law that governs fisheries nationwide needs to be fixed, "based on good science and not science fiction," he said....

"It's killing the charter and party boat people as well as the commercial guys."

From firsthand experience, I can assure you that he's right. I used to be an avid fluke fisherman, going out a number of times per season on any of the "half-day" party boats that scatter the Jersey Shore. About 20 years ago, keeper size was 14 inches. Now, it's 18 inches. You know how many 18 inch fluke you can land in a day? Maybe one. If you're lucky. And that might be enough meat for a fluke sandwich. Maybe. If you're lucky.

And how bad is the science? Bad enough so that even the fish have outsmarted it. Studies are reporting that fish are now biologically reacting to the larger catch size by simply remaining juveniles longer. Why grow big and strong if it will only diminish your odds of survival? Of course, this little bit of evolution is actually depleting the fisheries even further, as juvies mature later and spawn considerably less. But hey - try to tell a bureaucrat that he's being outsmarted by evolution, and all of a sudden he'll become a creationist...

From the
Garden State Seafood Association, a list of complaints that sounds familiar to anyone who has suffered under arbitrary government regulation:

· Too rigid biological “performance” standards
· Lack of standards for the science that supports management decisions.
· Use of language that unnecessarily skews public – and legislative – opinion against commercial harvesting.
· Habitat provisions based on poorly or undefined concepts and used as a weapon against fishing rather than a tool for the fish.
· Requirements that prevent the consideration of the cumulative social and economic impacts of restrictive management actions.

Seems as if an entire industry, as well as regular weekend anglers like myself, are in agreement that changes to the law need to be made. So what does that make the members of Thursday's anti-Obama fishing flotilla?

Racists. Hate criminals. Eco-terrorists. Pawns of Big Business. Radicals. Reactionaries. Idiots. Maybe...Islamophobes?

Can you imagine a nation with as much coastline as ours seeing a collapse of it's fishing industry? Sounds insane, right? But leave it to the environmentalists and bureaucrats to sink what should be an unsinkable industry...

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