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Friday, October 12, 2007

What's Wrong with Fisheries and Environmental Legislation

Here's a prefect example of how seriously detached and ill-informed our legislators are as they try to enact laws to help protect the endangered right whale.

We now have a new law prohibiting float rope between pairs of lobster traps. What, you ask, is the big deal? Isn't this a good thing? Well, no. In fact, it's really, really bad.

Lobstermen place float rope between their traps on the bottom to prevent the rope and the traps from getting twisted and snagged on rocks. Now they'll have to use rope that sinks, which means their traps will get hung-down more often.

But that's really not going to happen that much, because lobstermen aren't going to bother with pairs anymore. They'll go back to singles, which means there will be twice as many buoys and ten times as much rope in the water as there is now.

So, in effect, the new legislation forced down the throats of fisherman actually makes things worse for whales.


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