How Healthy are Our Oceans?

My cover story, this week in the VCReporter. I especially liked that both a commercial fisherman and a devout sports fisherman praised government regulators for maintaining the fisheries in SoCal: 

Both commercial fishermen and sport fishermen agree [that the fisheries are in decent shape].

“I think it’s doing pretty good,” said Pete DuPuy, who has been fishing commercially off Ventura County for nearly 20 years and currently captains a squid boat. “There seems to be plenty of fish. Especially off the West Coast, the U.S. fishery is heavily regulated, and I think California Fish and Game has done a good job taking care of it. You go to fish down off Mexico and it’s different – the resource has been hammered pretty well down there.”     

Sport fisherman Jerry Stussman, who has been chartering boats to go fishing off Ventura as much as three times a week for more than 30 years, echoes DuPuy’s comments.

“Since the beginning of the year, the water has warmed up, and I’d say the fishing is very good to excellent right now,” he commented. “A record 69-pound halibut was caught last week. We’re catching our limit sometimes in less than an hour. We fisherman argue, we scream, we moan and groan about what the environmentalists are doing, but no one can argue that the result has been positive.”

How often do you hear that sort of comment from fishermen? And I didn't solicit it at all.

In any case, as a marine biologist friend said in the story, the ocean certainly still looks great. Almost can't help it. Here's a pic, taken off the Channel Islands, courtesy of Flickr and Perpetual Sunset.

views on channel islands

One thought on “How Healthy are Our Oceans?

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