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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Administration Wants to Take Away Your Rights to Recreational Fishing!

Just so you know. The Obama Administration is planning to federalize your right to sport fish in U.S. waters. ESPN Story here.

Why is this happening? Because NOAA/NMFS has done such a terrific job of managing our territorial seas and inland waterways? Yeah, right!

Just for a second, forget that our management of the commercial fisheries has been such an abject failure. Think about who these waters belong to. They belong to us. To all of us. Every man, woman and child on the planet. Denying access and/or regulating access to the point of making it inaccessible is a violation of our basic right to a resource that should not be apportioned or awarded selectively. It's ours.

Every day more and more of the freedoms we took for granted are being taken away. For example, you can't take winnings from the lottery and buy a boat to start commercial fishing. You could have done it in the 1800s and most of the 1900s. You can't do it now. The fisheries are essentially closed. Not enough fish. Used to be, you start with a row boat, catch and sell bait, buy a bigger boat, catch more fish, buy more boats, hire captains, sell more fish, become an industry tycoon. That was the American way. But screw the American way. It's ancient history. And maybe it should be. Maybe it's why we're in this mess. The American way led to too many adventurers and too many tycoons and as a result too many fish and fish habitats went by the wayside. I'm sure most socialistas and communistas would agree. (Hah! As if the socialists and communists aren't leading the way in resource exploitation.)

This knee jerk mentality of the Administration holds no logic. There is no holy world order that will fix the state of the oceans or keep foreign government from deforesting the planet. There is no upside to creating a giant government bureaucracy and no future in trying to police and manage something that can't be policed or managed.

I've said this before. Instead of restricting people, why not restrict areas? At least areas (and species) can be policed and managed. Protect habitat. Protect fish. Protect wildlife. Set aside no-fish zones that can be watched by air and by boat. Create management areas. Exclusion areas. Anything else is just the government creating more paper and more paper pushers. I guess that's what they want. It's what they're good at. Pushing paper. Creating paper. Make everyone pay for a license, a registration.

If John Q. Public knew what the average commercial fishermen had to go through every year in order to ply his (or her) trade he'd be stunned. The average commercial fisherman pushes more paper and complies with more regulation than a doctor or lawyer. Does that make any sense?


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