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Murder of the Bounty!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:22 pm Reply with quote
fishead
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In recent years she has come under attack. From a source that I fear she can not survive from. A fleet of fishing boats, large trawlers are scouring the lake bottom between Port Dover and Wheatley in search of the beleaguered SMELT. (Apparently there is a large market for this small fish in Japan where it is considered a delicacy). To this end the commercial fishermen are using a "small mesh drag net" to harvest smelt. The devastation that these nets reap is hard to believe. Each net scours the bottom of the lake. They are, NON SELECTIVE and kill everything they consume. I have seen the destruction that these nets reap first hand, and found it hard to believe. While fishing on Lake Erie I used to see hundreds of schools of bait fish on my sonar (smelt, emerald green shiners, shad and many more) in huge schools driven into huge mounds 20 & 30 feet high by feeding Walleye and Salmon and Trout. In last few years all of us sport fishermen have seen a big decline in the size and quantity of these schools . I have seen first hand why. I have gone out of my way to pass behind several of these trawlers and could not believe the lack of fish left in their wake. For an area 200 feet wide behind each boat there was literally nothing left in the water to show up on my sonar screen. These nets are true killing machines! They are held down on the bottom and open by using large steel dagger boards that weigh 200 to 300 lbs. (est.) . You can imagine the furrows that these steel plates leave in the soft lake bottom and the amount of damage that they reek to the ecosystems there! The lake bottom is where life begins in the lake, if this is destroyed it could take years to recover, if ever! I truly believe that the only thing that is saving a SMALL portion of the bait fish is the fact that the Canadian trawlers cannot legally fish on the American side of the Border and the Americans DO NOT TRAWL!. I say a SMALL portion of the bait fish, because the Canadian side of the Lake tends to stay cooler during the Summer months and the bait fish tend to congregate here rather than on the USA side of the Lake. The Trawlers are aware of this, and target these areas with impunity. Scouring the bottom with their nets, which reek total destruction in their wake! It will not end until they have nothing left to catch!!....

Read the whole artical here: http://www.thefishingnews.com/erietrawlers.shtml

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:29 pm Reply with quote
fishead
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On the northern shore of Lake Erie, the Canadian fishing industry is large. Peter Meisenheimer is executive director of the Ontario Commercial Fisheries' Association. The trade group represents 3,500 or so people employed on fishing vessels -- 180 active licenses -- or in the processing and packing facilities that are a unique feature of the industry in Ontario. ...

... So is the economic impact of the Ontario catch, which recently weighed in between 27 million and 44 million pounds annually.

"These are tough people and you don't go to work as a commercial fishing operator without steel in your spine. The people who do it love doing it. It's about being on the water, being your own master and being a part of a way of life that's central to the lakes." .....

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:55 pm Reply with quote
fishead
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Fishing

Lake Erie is home to one of the world's largest freshwater commercial fisheries. Once a mainstay of communities around the lake, commercial fishing is now predominantly based in Canadian communities, with a much smaller fishery, largely restricted to yellow perch, in Ohio. The Ontario fishery is one of the most intensively managed in the world. One of the first fisheries in the world managed on individual transferable quotas (ITQs), it features mandatory daily catch reporting and intensive auditing of the catch reporting system.

Commercial catch is dominated by yellow perch and walleye, with substantial quantities of rainbow smelt and white bass also taken. Anglers target walleye and yellow perch, with some effort directed to rainbow trout. A variety of other species are taken in smaller quantities by both commercial and sport fleets.

Although the fishery is managed through consensus of all management agencies with an interest in the resource (the US states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan and the province of Ontario) under the mandate of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and driven by comprehensive fisheries assessment programs and sophisticated mathematical modeling systems, it remains the source of considerable recrimination, primarily from United States based angler and charter fishing groups with an historical antipathy to the commercial fishery. This conflict is complex, dating from changes in U.S. fisheries management in the 1960s that led to elimination of commercial fishing in most U.S. Great Lakes states. The process began in the state of Michigan, and its evolution is well documented using Lake Michigan as a case study. [8],

The underlying issues are universal wherever sport and commercial fishing coexist, but their persistence in the Lake Erie context, one of the most intensively scrutinized and managed fisheries anywhere, suggests that these conflicts are cultural, not scientific, and therefore not resolvable by reference to ecological data. These debates are largely driven by social, political and economic issues, not ecology

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Lake_Erie

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