We are losing the war to retain our rights to fish public waters.
The other side --- the preservationist movement --- has money, the media, the motivation, and, for the moment, the administration on its side.
On the side of recreational fishing, we have numbers and we have truth. But too many fishermen are unmotivated to act, and, sadly, truth seems to become increasingly irrelevant in an age when so many people are both ignorant of history and uneducated regarding current issues.
These people come to believe as truth the lies with which they constantly are barraged simply because those lies are repeated long enough and loud enough by a corrupt media to make them “sound true.”
The latest barrage from the anti-fishing side appears in Rolling Stone Magazine, entitled “Environment: Ten Things Obama Must Do --- How the president can help slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet --- without waiting for Congress.”
In case you are not familiar with the publication, it deals in entertainment, popular culture, and liberal politics. It has a circulation of 1.4 million. I doubt that most of those subscribers fish or care one way or another about fishing. But they will believe the drivel in this article.
And that drivel includes advocating for closures of 20 percent of U.S. marine waters to fishing. The argument cited is so ridiculous as to be laughable, but that does not make it any the less threatening to the future of fishing simply because it is read --- and believed --- by so many people.
The reason that we need these closed areas, described as “fish production zones,” is that, “Our addiction to fossil fuels is making the world's oceans more acidic – which in turn makes it harder for marine life to thrive and reproduce.”
One “expert” source is given in support of the closures, but he makes no reference to fossil fuels or acidic waters. Rather, the Rolling Stone writer simply crafts his article in a way to make it appear that there’s a connection.
As best as I can determine from research, the “threat” of acidic waters was presented in an article that appeared in Scientific American awhile back. It detailed a report from the U.S. Environmental Programme --- you know, the same organization that used false data to argue for manmade climate change.
Here’s an excerpt from the SA article:
Scientists say that, without emissions cuts, the world's oceans could become 150 percent more acidic by the end of the century -- a rate of change that "has not been experienced for around 65 million years, since the dinosaurs became extinct," the UNEP report says.
"Although studies about the effects of ocean acidification on marine resources are comparatively new, early results indicate there is no room for complacency," the UNEP analysis says.
Color me skeptical.
Are our oceans more acidic than they were before, say, the Industrial Revolution? Probably. But pollution, habitat destruction, and overfishing by commercial fleets, especially those from foreign countries, pose far more of a threat to ocean fisheries than fossil fuels.
By contrast, recreational anglers account for less than 5 percent of harvest of saltwater finfish. But as I said, facts don’t matter so much when you’re battling zealots intent on indoctrinating an uneducated populace about the justification for closing 20 percent of U.S. waters to fishing.
I do have a question, though: If acidic waters are making it “harder for marine life to thrive and reproduce,” how will denying access to anglers help solve the problem?
If fossils fuels and acidic waters are killing our oceans --- and no evidence exists that they are --- then “fish production zones” are at best feeble attempts to delay the inevitable. If fish don’t reproduce, they disappear.
Could such an argument simply be an excuse to further the desire by preservationists to kill recreational fishing?
That makes more sense to me.
And if increasing acidity really is the problem, why not add one more thing to President Obama’s to-do list? If he can “slow the rise of the oceans,” he certainly should be able to stop the (acid) rain.