Friday, April 07, 2006

Tuna & Environmentalist...

Blackfin Tuna (Click on photos)



The Florida Keys is a very unique Sportfishing environment for it is possible to catch many different species of fish on a single day trip as well as the many different "seasons" each year. When the water gets cooler the Blackfin Tuna make their way thru the area on their migration and these are some incredible fish when caught on light tackle and very good eating...

The Sportfishing boat that I worked on was operated by Capt. Jim Sharpe who has fished in the Florida Keys for 30+ years and knows the area and fish species well. Capt. Sharpe also operates a tackle store and a weekly radio show that talks about sportfishing and recent catches... He also did a 2 minute morning radio remote that would talk about what the fishing conditions were and what we would be looking for that day...

In the 5+ years that I had the privilege to fish with Capt. Sharpe there were many great tuna seasons and it was a fish that I always looked forward to. During this season we would talk about the catch on the radio show and would go indepth on how the fish was caught, it's habits, and the environment that the fish lived in... Blackfin Tuna would usually get up to about 30-35lbs. and are not usually sold as a commercial fish for they did not command a great price. They are caught by "Line & Tackle" (Fishing Poles) and are usually found under birds that are working the baitfish on the surface...

There were several occasions where people would hear about the Tuna catch on the radio and meet us when we got back to the dock from a days fishing. I can recall at least 2 times where "Environmentalist" would meet us at the dock to condemn us for fishing Tuna and endangering Dolphin (Mammels, Flipper Dolphin) while fishing for the tuna. I specifically recall one time where a lady pulled up to the boat, got out, and asked if we were the boat that were catching tuna that day. She then asked which of the fish caught and displayed next to the boat was the tuna at which time I pointed out from the other species caught that day. She them went into a rant on how we were Killing Dolphin (Mammal) when fishing for the tuna. I attempted to inform her that this was a different species and in fact caught in a completely different ocean from the tuna she was thinking about. I informed her that the tuna we caught were caught on line & tackle and there were no dolphin in the area at anytime. Unfortunately this lady had only heard and believed what she wanted from the environmental groups and that all fishermen were "evil card-carrying Halliburton" people and did not care a bit about the Dolphin or environment... After explaining to her that these were different fish and caught in a different manner she did acknowledge that she may have been "Mistaken" by which species were being caught but then left after saying "You would probably kill the other ones if they were here"...
It always amazed me when we had people on the boat who grew up in the mid-west and it was their first time on the ocean or even seeing the ocean. I would talk with these people and there were times where they had pre-set facts in their minds that there was massive over-fishing going on everywhere and that any fish we caught was sure to push the species to extinction...
The "Marketing" programs by the environmental groups are impressive and work well at times. It was interesting to talk with these people and show them that each environment is different and unique...

4 comments:

Bubba said...

Looks like a clear case of someone being educated beyond their intellegence.

SWAC Girl said...

A blogger of many talents....

bubba said...

Rightside...... If you run across anymore of these enviro-nuts let me know. I have a real good recipe for spotted owl stew. I can e-mail it to you if you want.

Captain Marc said...

Florida Keys Fishing