2010-02-26 / Sports

Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheelhouse

By Captain Vinnie Calabro

Last Wednesday, bus loads of fishermen, commercial and sporties alike descended upon Washington D.C. to have their voices heard regarding the current restrictions and regulations relevant to their livelihood. They are concerned and rightly so with the hardships that are a direct result of the inconsistent coastal laws that now impact their existence. I will update you with the outcome.

Many seafaring communities over the past decade have been in serious peril. Generations of Americana could be a thing of the past, and in the world we live in this could be the point of no return. That would not only be wrong, but very sad.

This country was built on commercial fishing. Coastal states, once upon a time, all had viable fishing ports and with it good jobs, something to ponder in today’s jobless market. These hard working jobs move and drive our economy in many ways, which are seen and unseen. From the seafood we eat at a Park Avenue res-taurant, the fresh wild fish straight from the boat, to the smile on a child’s face when they’re out on a party boat fishing with their parents, the list is endless.

The engine manufacturers that make the equipment that drives the boats, bait and tackle shops, some mom and pop stores who because of unrealistic catch limits and seasonal closures are forced out of business, fuel docks, delis who provide food; it truly is an endless wave of intertwined businesses.

Men in suits, over the years, cleverly architected what a waterman should do and not do. I think that things are a little out of whack and need to be revisited with viable updated information which gives a balance to all involved. Fishermens’ voices need to be heard. Will they diminish in the wind like a seagull’s cry? That remains to be seen.

I had the pleasure on Saturday of meeting Gary Caputo at an educational workshop hosted by the Salt Water Sportsmen. Gary is based in New Jersey and has his fishing roots right in the waters we all share. He is passionate about the state of our fisheries and with his group, the Recreational Fishing Alliance RFA, does never ending work to support the fishermen’s cause. You can learn more about his group by visiting their website at www.joinrfa. org. I think it is worth a look. I’ll keep all of you readers informed and should you have any questions feel free to contact me. Phone or e-mail Vinnie@kar enanncharters.com. Until the next tide…

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