Page 35 - Ghost Fishing: One Voice from the East Coast Groundfish Diaster
ISSUE : Issue 72
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1997/6/1
Ghost Fishing: One Voice from the East Coast Groundfish Disaster There are thousands of lives caught up In the groundfish disaster • the collapse of the cod fishery, a 500-year tradi? tion on which many of our communities have been built. We are only now beginning to admit to the many factors, from draggers to greed to misinformation, that have con? tributed to this economic tragedy. The following selection is taken from Arn? Nam! Faces and Voices of Atlantic Inshore Fishers, a new book about the groundfish disaster, published by UCCB Press. Author/ artist Tom Roach interviewed people In four fishing cen? tres: Louisbourg, Cape Breton, Petty Harbour, Nfid., North Shore, N.B., East Shore, P.E.I. The book Is made up of drawings and interviews with a wide variety of people who have experienced the collapse of their life in the fishery- fish plant workers, fishermen, scientists. The book deals with a wide range of subjects, from seals to retraining to long-term dreams. Here are a few drawings and one voice from that book, talking about "ghost fishing." Tom Best Too many people believe that the fishery- is going to come back and will be here to? morrow, but that's not going to be the case this time around. As far as I'm con? cerned, it's gone that far, and I have never been a pessimist about the industry. I've always kept fighting to try and get better measures implemented for the long term. I would never, ever, given the cur? rent situation, encourage anyone coming out of high school or coming though their teenage years to choose fishing as a fu? ture opportunity. It's just not there any? more, and it's not going to be there for a long, long while. If the government is go? ing to continue to do what they are doing right now, and they still haven't changed...and I've just seen a document that the provincial government prepared called Changing Tides. 1 have a copy of it in my briefcase. Their strategy on the fishery of the future is exactly what their strategy has been for the last thir? ty years, and that is a downsized fishery, more centralized, more efficient, but ef? ficient from the point of view of corpo? rate mechanized operations in the fishing industry. They say they will strongly sup? port and give priority to the inshore NOVASCOTIA Tom Best fishery as the stocks rebuild and as ac? cess to those fish becomes available again, but what they're saying in this document in effect is that they are going to promote the kind of technologies that will allow peo? ple to go fur? ther afield. That's the very thing that's got us in the mess we're in right now, the various types of mobile ves? sels using de? structive technologies. The proper bal? ance has never been there, and CyrilWhitten the management of the technology has never been there.... The arguments that we used to keep the foreigners out in 1977 were the arguments that the technology that was be? ing used in our waters by foreign vessels was destroying our fishery. You would think that someone would be intelligent enough to say, "Well look, if that's what destroyed jit, why should we promote and reintro? duce the same kind of technology?" But that's what they did.... Budget Car and Truck Rentals is playing your song ... with special summertime weekend and weekly packages. For reservations, or more details call our friendly staff at 902-564-2610 Budget All the Difference in the World. 501 Esplanade SYDNEY They introduced gillnets in the late 1950's to the fishing industry. Again it was a transfer of technology that was being used by other countries. It seems we're always following the di? rection of other countries and de? stroying ourselves. They've done the job on themselves, then they move over here in what is referred to as distant waters, and we promote and
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