Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Overfishing and rebuilding summer flounder

It's fishermen vs. environmentalists again for summer flounder off the US East coast. How did we get into this mess, when we should be allies?

Right now, too many fishermen are focused on their "need" to catch fish.

At stake is the rebuilding of fish that are in trouble. Are we willing to lay off fishing so that fish can recover? It worked for striped bass. Alas, too often it seems like we're focused on keeping the fishing experience satisfying as a primary factor, and the fish just have to rebuild with "reasonable" fishing allowed.

Unfortunately, it turned out that "reasonable" fishing for summer flounder still resulted in overfishing. Uh-oh. We all know that overfishing is a bad idea, and overfishing during a rebuilding plan is a really, really bad idea.

Summer flounder overfishing dug a deep hole, and it's hard to get out. It's really hard to get out when you keep overfishing.

So who's the villian? The environmentalists who say let's stick to the rebuilding deadline? Or the people who overfished and now want to get out of the rebuilding deadline? And who really believes that we'll EVER rebuild summer flounder if we get rid of the deadline?

1 comment:

philippe said...

Hello Mark! When do you try podcasting?