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This was in todays, Tuesday, April 23rd Newsday....

Trawling Isn't a Sin

"The Bottom of the Trawling Matter" was not the most balanced view of the matter. It was written as if trawling "clear-cuts" the ocean floor when, in face, the National Academy of Sciences, which put out the study, conceded that the scientists don't know how harmful trawling is, or if it is harmful at all.
As a commercial fisherman who uses this method of fishing, I can tell you that fish stocks off Eastern Long Island have recovered tremendously, due in part to the strict regulations that commercial fisherman follow.
I can think of several other issues enviromentalists can focus on other tahn attacking small-scale commercial fisherman: eliminating factory fishing vessels, stopping pollution/run-off into our estuaries, bays, sound, and ocean; holding recreational fishermen to their legal quotas (They regularly overfish every year and are not held accountable); and stopping imports of fish from countries with little or no fishing regulations.

Stephanie Villani
Mattituck

I just thought I would post this incase you guys didn't get to read it. Especially after the discussion about the flounder being taken by the commercials. I can tell you though, the one thing in that letter that ticked me off was the knock on recreational fisherman. I know there are many out there they take as many fish as they can catch, but I know most of the fisherman on LI and on this board don't break the DEC regulations.
 

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She had me on her side until the knock

That part ticked me off too. If any of you are familiar with the "small" commercial fishermen, many of them are not much different than you and I in terms of their love and respect of the ocean and its resources. I was "feeling her pain", and agreed with her about the floating fish factories, etc... but she went a little too far when she knocked recreational fisherman. My statement for her would be to take alook at the striped bass "Haul Seine Horror Show" on the HOME page of this website and give us an explanation for that practice by her fellow "small" commercial fishing buddies.
 

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She had me on her side until the knock

That part ticked me off too. If any of you are familiar with the "small" commercial fishermen, many of them are not much different than you and I in terms of their love and respect of the ocean and its resources. I was "feeling her pain", and agreed with her about the floating fish factories, etc... but she went a little too far when she knocked recreational fisherman. My statement for her would be to take a look at the striped bass "Haul Seine Horror Show" on the HOME page of this website and give us an explanation for that practice by her fellow "small" commercial fishing buddies.
 

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I can't speak to trawling on the south shore of Long Island because I haven't seen pictures of untrawled bottom areas vs. trawled bottom areas. I have seen pictures of untrawled bottom areas compared to trawled bottom areas on the Georges Banks. The untrawled areas contain a complex mix of sponges and other soft growths that form an ecosystem on the bottom. The trawled areas are missing this ecosystem. I don't think its a stretch to infer that habitat is being damaged as a result of trawling. I know commercial fishermen are for the most part hardworking and conscientious individuals that care about the resource. The problem is the resource is limited, the technology has gotten too good, and, bottom line, there are too many boats chasing too few fish. And I include both recreational and commercial fishermen in that statement. In terms of recovery of stocks, I recently made a trip 65 miles off of Montauk to fish for cod. Cod were the scarcest of the 11 different species of fish landed. And the ones we did land were in the 5-6 pound range. The point is, many species have a long ways to go in terms of recovery.
 
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