Letters to the Editor
Published 9:38 am Tuesday, April 1, 2003
To the Editor:
In response to Dallis Tucker's letter to the editor on March 26, he directly attacks the commercial fishing community. Mr. Tucker says that the proposed management plan places an overwhelming burden on the recreation sector with seasons, slot limits, and reduced bag limits.
Under current regulations, the commercial sector has already been accounted for in their striped bass landings and discards whereas the recreational sector under current regulations can keep three fish per day over 18 inches in length, for 365 days per year. The potential is there for the recreational sector to be making a detrimental impact. The state has some one million to two million anglers. Say 500 anglers made 30 trips each and caught three fish per day. That calculates to 45,000 fish, which at three pounds per fish = 135,000 pounds per year which is greater than the 119,000 pounds harvested and discarded by the commercial sector. There is also catch and release mortality by the recreational sector in the striped bass fishery during the summer months due to high water temperatures and in the spring with use of cut bait that results in deep gut hooking. The potential is there for recreational impacts, but Mr. Tucker attacks the commercial sector.
Mr. Tucker stated in his letter, "How can there be equity between sectors when so many restrictions are placed on one sector?" Let me remind Mr. Tucker that restrictions have already been in place for the commercial sector. I'll trade Mr. Tucker my five fish per day for my limited season, for his three fish per day for the entire year if he wants to talk about equitability.
Once again, Mr. Tucker attacked the commercial sector when he mentioned the 94,000 pounds of discards in the commercial fishery. Let me enlighten the public on discards. The term discard is that portion of the catch returned to the water as a result of economic, legal, or personal considerations. Not all discards result in mortality, meaning that some fish live successfully. If every discard were a mortality, the state's government agencies would not use gill nets to tag fish.
Not once did Mr. Tucker talk about any kind of environmental conditions that may have an impact on the striped bass fishery. The hurricanes, poor water quality, water flow, and the development of waterfront properties along nursery areas all have a direct impact on the fisheries. The commercial fishing sector cannot control these environmental conditions but always takes the blame for a species when it is classified as overfished. Once again, the commercial fisherman will be the scapegoat.
To the Editor:
Is it not a privilege to live in a society where we may agree to disagree? That is the true beauty of living in a democracy. That is what young men and women are defending and exemplifying in the conflict our nation is currently engaged in. It is in tribute and respect to them, those past and present that I say "Hooray to you Ms. Hollowell for sharing your opinion on today's political outlook in Beaufort County."
If we study carefully we see that our first President and our county seat's namesake warned us of the formation of political parties. Washington was very concerned about factions dividing and weakening this government. He foresaw how it could pitch constituent against constituent. If we are so busy trying to prove which political party is most effective, the real business of government, which is ensuring the welfare and protecting the rights of the people, gets lost in the fanfare and double talk of politicians.
If one were to look at the political platforms of the two dominant parties of our political system, they both basically want the same thing. It is how these things are achieved is where the differences come in. It is here the people often lose out. Government becomes bogged down because neither party wants to seem weaker. Have these caretakers of the Constitution, preservers of my democracy and well-being forgotten those simple words, "Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." I am only one of those governed in this county. And I do not offer my consent to some of the policies being instituted by the governing body. I am therefore waging my own declaration of independence and remembering the continuing phrase of this auspicious document, "Whenever any Form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government." So maybe through my letters, people will begin to look at the bigger picture and see what our county really needs is some serious bi-partisanship and not whose party is strongest. With the latter option, everyone loses.
I harbor no resentment toward effective, responsible government leaders, of any party affiliation. My problem is with individuals who use government to achieve their own legacy and personal gain. I am sure Mr. Richardson is a fine person and has many attributes. I merely want him to use his skills and wisdom to enhance not destroy the county, which I call home.
And on a personal note and for the record, Ms. Hollowell, for a nominal fee, you can have a telephone and not be listed in the phone book. Again, a choice made in a free enterprise system of a democratic society. Ms. Hollowell, I only ask you to direct your energies to the betterment of your community. Is that asking too much?
Again, WDN, thank you for this opportunity.