Last login: Wednesday, May 2, 2012
I feel that this article, like many that we see in the news today, gives a somewhat biased opinion of a very controversial topic. If I were a reader who was completely unfamiliar with the fishing industry or with marine protection I would be inclined to believe that the MLPA is helping to protect our oceans from the salty, greedy fishermen who are out there trying to turn a profit at the cost of our marine habitats. This is not the case. This is a regulatory act that, despite having what I am sure were the best intentions at heart for all parties involved, is putting the livelihoods of many people at stake. I don’t think everyone realizes that the MLPA was put into effect based on reports of an annual decline in the yields of popular marine organisms. Fishermen and commercial divers feel the weight of these declines more than anyone and are now being additionally burdened by restrictions on the “large swaths of ocean” that are now off-limits to them. Furthermore, many assert that, as of now, the only people who are benefiting from the MPAs are poachers and also that within a few years (long enough for young fish to mature) the edges of the MPAs will simply become the most popular commercial fishing sites and render the entire MPA concept completely useless. I realize that it is easy to sit back and criticize from behind my keyboard but perhaps we should consider that it is not just the marine-life that is suffering; for the fishermen in our community, the candle is burning at both ends and something should be done to protect their interests as well.
May 2, 2012 at 7:56 p.m.
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