Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 72 > Page 37 - Ghost Fishing: One Voice from the East Coast Groundfish Diaster

Page 37 - Ghost Fishing: One Voice from the East Coast Groundfish Diaster

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1997/6/1 (251 reads)

them. They just busted off the floats and sank down on the bottom. These nets are always on the bottom, possibly millions of them in the ocean right now, fishing away continuously. These nets are anjrwhere from three to four fathoms, five to six fathoms deep, to thirty fathoms deep. They have corks on the top section, and they have lead ropes on the bottom. The lead ropes stay on the bottom and the floats stay up so when that fish is swimming over the ocean bottom where it is a lot of the time, especially the bigger, mature fish, these nets intercept them. People will argue that these lost nets will sink down after a period of time and they'll tangle up on the bottom, and they'll deteriorate and all that sort of thing. That's only a self-serving argument by people who are using them. What happens is they will fill up with fish, the fish will rot, the net will get heavy and it will sink down to the bottom. After a pe? riod of time, all the fish are completely deteriorated with all the bones and every? thing, and up comes the corks again and the net continues to fish. We've argued and argued and argued to try and get the gillnets banned from the fishing industry in this province. We are the only communi? ty that has them banned (Petty Harbour, Newfoundland). The scientists are trying to figure out for the last four or five years what happened to the spawning bio- mass that was supposed to be there. They estimated two years ago that it was any- lilMOND COUNH at tHe FVoNt door oF cape bpetoM ISuaNd RiCHM'Nd CoUNtj) A good piace to ave aNd do bUS'NeSS T'L 902-226-2400 • Fak 902-226-1510 where between 70,000 metric tons to 150,000 metric tons. Now they figure there's only about anjrwhere from 15,000 to 20,000 metric tons of spawning biomass left in the ocean. You couldn't believe it, but that's just about noth? ing. And a lot Cora Best of them are still being fished out by gillnets that have been discarded.... Back when they were introduced, gillnets had an 8 inch mesh size. An 8 inch mesh is 8 inches diagonally. If you pull the mesh tight together on a diagonal, it's 8 inches straight across. It's a big net. That size could catch up to a 35 inch fish because they only mesh in the head and that's where the gills get caught. They started with 8 inch gillnets all over the province. In the late fifties and early sixties, and within a period of four to five years, they had to go to a 6 inch mesh because the mesh was too big and the fish that were left were Located in Historic St. Peter's, NS Bras d'Or Lakes Inn The Bras d'Or Lakes Inn is an extraordinary dining and overnight experience situated on the shores of the world famous Bras d'Or lakes, directly adjacent to the the gate? way to the Bras d'Or • St. Peter's Canal. OPEN YEAR 'ROUND with twenty cosy rooms, and a comfortable dining room and bar Our food is of high caliber and the service is quite friendly. The wooden log construction makes the Inn very appealing and relaxing. Bras d'Or Lakes Inn is the only full-service accommodation between Sydney and Port Hawkesbury. (902) 535-2200 or FAX 535-2784 1-800-818-5885 OR WRITE TO ST. PETERS, NS BOE 3B0 Bras d''r Lakes Inn is just down the road from Super Natural Tours 3K ABOUT THE "CRUISE & STAY" PROGRAM A wonderful place to live, work, visit, & invest! 37
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download