"Uproar over rockfish quotas" (March 29) missed the big picture. The
proposals to restrict the commercial near-shore fishery are merely methods
some commercial fishermen are proposing to grant themselves rights to the
public's fish. The proposals have nothing to do with conservation.
The article mentioned that the near-shore has historically supported a recreational fishery. Not mentioned was that the commercial fishery is displacing the recreational fishery and doing serious damage to the fish populations upon which it depends. The commercial fishery has focused extreme pressure on kelp beds and shallow coves, resulting in a new four-month recreational closure.
A state Fish and Game spokesperson was quoted as saying she wanted to "ensure that fishermen make money" (as if that's the state's job), and implied that a declining commercial fishery would impact coastal communities. Perhaps she is unaware that recreational fishing contributes vastly more to the coastal economy than does the commercial fishery, and its loss will be a true community disaster. To add insult to injury, the commercial fishery is heavily subsidized by recreational fees and state general fund revenues.
The real uproar, not reported by the paper, is the hundreds of anglers and divers who have been attending Fish and Game Commission meetings, trying to get this unsustainable, heavily subsidized commercial fishery moved back offshore where it belongs.