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May 17, 2013

Letter: Writer's rhetoric offensive to fishermen

To the editor:

I found the letter submitted by Mr. Smith of Manchester (the Times, Thursday, May 9) not only misinformed but offensive.

Early on, Mr. Smith seems to tip his hand as an acolyte of the Conservation Law Foundation, quoting from the balderdash that this ersatz environmental group continually puts forth.

Misstatements such as “Regulators often trying to discredit the science in the process,” and the comparison of our small family-owned outfits to the mega auto, financial, coal and pharmaceutical industries are untrue and damaging.

Perhaps Mr Smith ought to ask NOAA administrator Bullard how many times the National Marine Fisheries Service has been critical of the science from Woods Hole, or inquire of the regulatory body overseeing the coal mining industry — the same body that recently allowed family men to go to their graves in a mine with over 400 safety violations and then be allowed to reopen a scant few weeks later.

The constant statements vis a vis “overfishing and habitual deregulation” make myself and my brother and sister fishers sick. I challenge Mr. Smith and his enviro pals to find an industry that has done more to protect the sustainability and productivity of the formerly public resource upon which their livelihood depends.

None other than the former head scientist at Woods Hole, Dr. Stephen Murowski, has stated the U.S. is the first and only industrial nation to put an end to “overfishing.” As for habitat destruction due to bottom trawling, I have trawled the same areas for 42 years now, and still find fish there in some numbers!

May I suggest that Mr. Smith examine the record in Newfoundland, with a seal population grown over 12 million, the polar ice cap melt and human population. These are issues his CLF informants and their ilk are reluctant to stand up to.

Please do your homework and quit beating the “overfishing.” Speak to and give credit to those who are true guardians of our ocean environments, not those who have financial interest in ocean spatial, or planning and privatizing the last great public resource in our great nation.

RUSSELL A. SHERMAN

Captain, F/V Lady Jane

Gloucester

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