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Commentaries and editorials

Stop Overfishing

by Albert D. Trager
The Idaho Statesman, August 9, 1997

It is rather strange that the dam busters completely disregard what has happened to the fish and fishing in the North Atlantic. A few years ago, the Canadian government put a moratorium on commercial and sport fishing off Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and is presently buying up the fishing boats and has a retraining program for the unemployed fishermen.

There are no dams in those provinces, and all their electric power comes from Quebec. Perhaps someone can explain how the U.S. commercial fishing industry can take millions of tons of fish out of the ocean and still have fish in the streams and rivers.

The commercial fishing industry will take every fish that swims and then when they are all gone, will start to worry about how to buy their groceries. How much that group is spending on "lobbying" for dam destruction so they can keep on fishing nobody really knows, but it must be considerable.

Although the blockade of the Malapina was looked upon with great disfavor by many, the Canadians were right. Unless the United States drastically reduces its commercial fishing industry, there won't be enough fish left for a decent breakfast.

And here's a prediction -- dams or no dams: In three years time, there won't be enough of any fish without a stringent reduction in commercial fishing for the entire West Coast.

Albert D. Trager, Boise
Stop Overfishing
The Idaho Statesman, August 9, 1997

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