I tried to get away from politics by going fishing…

I love ocean fishing. I grew up on the California Coast and now live on the northern part of the coast among the redwood trees.

When I was very young, perhaps three or four, my uncle had 5 fishing boats in a town called Crescent City just north of where I lived as a child.

In those days the ocean was teaming with fish, crab, abalone, shrimp, and all manner of sea life.

In those days the forests were thick and seemingly endless.

But in those days we didn’t understand that our national resources, like fish and trees, were limited. We treated them as if they were unlimited because we had a ‘free market place’ that was nearly unregulated by our elected government.

By the time I was in my thirties those endless resources we all but gone. Up and down the coast from Monterey to Crescent City the population of fish was so dramatically low that Monterey closed down their huge canning plants, and all cities to the north that relied on fishing did much the same.

This was a crisis and no one was watching…almost no one. But the population noticed and started to make their voices heard. As a result, the fishery has been protected. If not for that protection, I could not go out and fish for Salmon this summer as there wouldn’t be any wild salmon. The salmon most folks buy at the market are farm raised salmon now days thanks to the massive and unrestricted commercial over fishing in the past few decades.

Our elected government even bought out many of the fishing vessels to decrease pressure on the fishery and to be fair to the fishermen.

But we didn’t act in time for certain populations. Sardines were once very plentiful off the coast but not so much anymore. I don’t belive there is a sardine fishery on the west coast anymore except for bait fish.

Abalone used to be so thick you could walk out at low tide and pick them off the rocks. There were no limits for commercial divers. Now there are very few abalone and commercial fishing on the north coast is forbidden. If this action were not taken, we’d have no abalone left.

Silver Salmon were so overfished that even sport fishermen cannot take them.

Ground fish, or rock fish were so over fished that current regulations limit the depth and the number you can take. I’m happy we took the steps to protect our fisheries.

We now have regulations at the demand of the population, the general citizenry if not the commercial interests. We gave them an environment friendly to commercial interests by not regulation the industry and they almost took all of our resources. They fished with abandon and without regard to the damage they were doing.

Our forests were being clear cut on a wholesale level. What trees we didn’t use as lumber, we ground up to use as hog fuel in power plants. It was free so what the heck? But soon enough the trees and the forests started to disappear, and so did the lumber mills, and the railroad the carried the lumber to market.

So, I tried to get away from politics by going fishing but it didn’t work. But thanks to the government responding to our (We The People’s) demands that the fishery be protected and regulated, I can still go fishing and eat fresh wild Salmon.

Big Ling Cod

Ok, now what regulations did you want to eliminate? And do you think enterprise will self regulate? Can you show me an example of when and if that ever worked? Didn’t think so…


About BradGolding

Former Republican, Former Democrat, currently non-aligned with any party. Served in the United States Marine Corps 1968 throught 1972.
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