Jul 14

Nets all around

Photo by Matt Hansen... me, seconds after losing a really, really nice fish.

Photo by Matt Hansen… me, seconds after losing a really, really nice fish.

Well… want to get a little depressed?

Here’s a story about netting in Long Island… that’s bonefish netting. This makes me grumpy. I have to say, I didn’t see any netting there when I was there, but, Courntey did.

One of Mr Knowles’s recent guests, Courtney-Marie Martin, writing in the Internet-based fishing blog, skinnywaterculture.com, said of her Long Island experience: “I witnessed first-hand one of the major conservation issues currently going on in the area, with gill netters present not far from the flat we just fished.

“My heart broke. If we don’t preserve what little we have left, this will all be gone, and there will be no future generation to follow in our footsteps. This is apparently an on-going, don’t ask don’t tell, problem on the island. With a heavy heart, and the thought of bonefish being gill netted, along with other innocents by catch, we headed in.”

If that’s not enough, there are some who think the decline in bonefish in the Keys may have something to do with commercial netting in Cuba. That’s what this article puts forward.

We do not know the exact correlation between the bonefish in the Keys and the fish in Cuba, but we do know that about fifteen years ago, there was massive netting projects going on in the north part of Cuba, gill nets that stretched miles across the flats and channels.  From  reports the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust has heard, thousands and thousand of bonefish, along with countless other species were netted and sold at market.  At about this same time, the bonefish population suddenly plummeted in the Florida Keys.  

And why do I keep bringing stuff like this up?

“We have reached the time in the life of the planet and humanities demands upon it when every fisherman will have to be a river keeper, a steward of marine shallows and a watchman on the high seas. We are beyond having to put back what we have taken out. We must put back more than we take out. We must make holy war on the enemies of aquatic life as we have gillnetters, polluters and drainers of wetlands. Otherwise, as you have already learned, these creatures will continue to disappear at an alarming rate. We will lose as much as we have already lost already and there will be next to nothing, remnant populations, put-and-take, dim bulbs following the tank truck.”  –Tom McGuane writing in the Some Remarks section of his outstanding book The Longest Silence.

Jul 11

Bahamas 5-0

POLICE across the Bahamas are being called on to stop the illegal netting and selling of bonefish in the Family Islands to protect the country’s multi-million dollar industry.

via Read the whole story at The Tribune.

Got to think it is hard for those Family Island/Out Island police to arrest folks for netting when they are probably related to each other and have grown up together.

Still… it makes good sense to clamp down on this sort of activity.

Aaron. The fish is in the water. That's good.

Feb 11

The Freeport News – Gill nets concern West End fishermen

If it isn’t guides getting fired, it is gill nets wiping out fish populations… Grand Bahama seems to have a number of things working against it these days.  Thomas Rolle is quoted below.

“I know that one time ago there were maybe one or two guys netting but now it’s out of control now. We have about 15, 16 or 17 boats – they’re netting the same areas every day and we’re in trouble now but before long there isn’t going to be anything there,” he lamented.

via The Freeport News – Gill nets concern West End fishermen.

Nets are bad for bonefish, and, oddly enough, bad for fisherman since they wipe out damn near everything they come into contact with.

Sep 10

Kauai Bonefish Netting

I’m culturally insensitive.  I say that because this makes me angry.  I know they’ve been taking and eating bones for a long time (probably not with modern nets though).  Still, I think it is a sad, sad thing to kill a bunch of bonefish to sell them (I have not heard of them being sold before).

A bonefish is worth more living than dead.  These fish are too wonderful to end their lives in a nylon net.  If thinking that makes me an a-hole, I’ll just have to live with that.

It was a good catch, they said, and then they drove off to take it to market.

via Food, people, life, stories. » Blog Archive » Pulling bonefish from the sea, Kaua’i style.