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May I draw your attention to the recent article on the doings of the group "Sea Shepherds" who got national attention by going to the limits to get the japanese out of the whaling business? They were involved in a cross ocean chase of an enormous haul seiner, a poacher, operating out of latin america for chilean sea bass, but with deliveries in the far east (who would have guessed that, right? Multi multi millions involved. The crew panicked rather than get caught and sank their own boat. The Shepherds rescued them ( I doubt I would have obliged). The crew showed their thanks by essentially giving the Shepherd crew the finger.

Why is this important? Becuase this isnt the only boat out there doing this. They are on their way, according to all the studies of marine species, to helping wipe out every commercially viable fish in the ocean. Some estimates rate the current stock levels at u to 90% depleted. Some of us alive now will live to see fish we care about go into the endangered species list.

So what? These are international waters and if you think people in the USA dont care enough, maybe youre right. But people in 95% of the rest of the world dont care AT ALL. And since the far east consumes the overwhelming tonnage caught, their dream is to catch more yet. The rest of the world doesnt give a damn at all. There is an all out assault on wildlife going on, land mammals included and we stand by and watch the governing bodies do nothing. Sound familiar?
 

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I have been relationally fishing for 3/4 of my 82 years on this earth....that,s right over 70 years. I fished as a teen. Buckroe, Ft Monroe steamboat pier, off nags head pier when in high school (1950) both the munition platforms in Hampton Roads, the James River Bridge..l I have paid my dues.

I am slowly winding down. there are still a few wire line rods with 20+ ounce sinkers in my utility room. My grown children often remind me of the many memorable fishing trips we made together. Fortunately they both live on salt water and love to recreational fish.

One of the highlights of our trips together were in the 1970's during the three to four weeks that vast schools of baby Bluefin Tunas stopped 15 miles off Va on their annual migration north (?). By July 4th it was all over --they had moved on past the "ham" and were up north somewhere.
=
Every recreational angler loved to fish for small, plentiful bluefin tuna--as well as the VA Charter fleet...there were also lots of large 8-lb bluefish down on the bottom--which we fished for also.

Today I was cleaning out my bedroom closet and came across an old news article that appeared in the NN Daily Press newspaper about proposed NMFS school bluefin tuna regulations in 1970 . NMFS knew of the fishery and sanctioned 5 commercical tuna , HAUL SEINE (much like the menhaden fishery now fishes inside Ches Bay) clippers, with the use of spotter planes to totally eliminate both the commercial and recreational fishery off VA.

Instead of trashing the old news clipping, I sent the article to Dr. Ken Neill, VMRC vice -commissioner and PSWSFA recreational (next generation) activist for him to see what it was REALLY like back when?? There is now a second & third generation attempting to enjoy the great fishery Virginia anglers enjoyed back in the 50s , 60s and 70s. Some have a little luck , particularly if they go 75 miles offshore.

I began going way offshore also, as the inshore fishery became depleted, but that is just too far for an old retired guy on limited income. I fear it is too far for most these days.

NMFS knew what they were doing--we recreationals attended scoping meetings and pleaded for protection.

NONE CAME.

RECREATIONAL FISHING IN VA WATERS IS IN BAD SHAPE.

PRACTICE CONSERVATION...KILL ONLY WHAT YOU CAN EAT....

ATTEND HEARINGS, SCOPING MEETINGS, WRITE LETTERS AND E MAILS. BECOME POLITICALLY ACTIVE

RECREATIONAL FISHING IS NOT ON THE UPSWING....

DR. BOB ALLEN
VIRGINIA SALT WATER SPORT FISHING ASSO, BOARD MEMBER
PSWSFA , PAST PRESIDENT
VCAC(VIRGINIA COUNCIL OF ANGLING CLUBS)
 

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"Instead of trashing the old news clipping, I sent the article to Dr. Ken Neill, VMRC vice -commissioner and PSWSFA recreational (next generation) activist for him to see what it was REALLY like back when??

So, true.
Its sad when I tell then I tell some of the newer generation of 25 acres Of fish crashing the bait -- In the bay.
Often finding, Bait and fish so thick your depth finder could not find bottom.
And they look at you like its a tall tale! ( only 59 yr)
 

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Read a great book a few years back which discusses the epic Bluefin fishery right off our coast where people could catch Bluefin right off the beach. 500 to 1000 lb fish were the norm. Also discusses the salmon fishery off the West Coast. Good read. It was called Song for the Blue Ocean. Written by Carl Safina who is a marine scientist/fisherman. I don't think we'll ever return to the numbers of the past but we can all work together to save what we still have.
 
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