Watermen say rights are infringed

Watermen say rights are infringed

There are 38 comments on the Hampton Roads Daily Press story from Apr 10, 2008, titled Watermen say rights are infringed. In it, Hampton Roads Daily Press reports that:

The government's failure to clean the Chesapeake Bay has harmed the livelihood of watermen and infringed on their constitutional right to clean water and may be grounds for a class-action lawsuit, a group of ...

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Just fishing

Glen Allen, VA

#23 Aug 17, 2008
I don't think anyone harvests horseshoe crab yet they've disappeared also. I've never tried to make a living from the bay but have sport fished for over 40 years in the bay and many of it's tributaries.
There is a problem and it's not just about over fishing, commercial or otherwise. It starts at the lowest end of the food chain and for anyone who's been around the bay there have been sign's for years now (shad, oysters, horseshoe crabs, algae blooms, fish kills, blue crabs, strange bacteria, etc). It's not as easy as banning fishing or enforcing regulations. We need to find the root causes (there is more than one or two contributing factors here for sure) whether its pollution, phosphate runoff, or overfishing of the lower end (menhaden, mullet, etc) off shore as well as in the bay.

Too bad what I'm seeing here is still just more arguing and disagreement. Let's celebrate the fact that we all care and want to fix the bay, not argue about who's to blame.

Can't we all just get along (lol).
spoiler

United States

#24 Aug 18, 2008
Just fishing wrote:
I don't think anyone harvests horseshoe crab yet they've disappeared also. I've never tried to make a living from the bay but have sport fished for over 40 years in the bay and many of it's tributaries.
There is a problem and it's not just about over fishing, commercial or otherwise. It starts at the lowest end of the food chain and for anyone who's been around the bay there have been sign's for years now (shad, oysters, horseshoe crabs, algae blooms, fish kills, blue crabs, strange bacteria, etc). It's not as easy as banning fishing or enforcing regulations. We need to find the root causes (there is more than one or two contributing factors here for sure) whether its pollution, phosphate runoff, or overfishing of the lower end (menhaden, mullet, etc) off shore as well as in the bay.
Too bad what I'm seeing here is still just more arguing and disagreement. Let's celebrate the fact that we all care and want to fix the bay, not argue about who's to blame.
Can't we all just get along (lol).
There you go, trying to use a combination of common sense and logic. Don't you know that only works with open minded, curious and constructive folks?
spoiler

United States

#25 Aug 18, 2008
peeking in water wrote:
If you harvest them all ...
there will be none.
There are fewer and fewer waterman to harvest the seafood and more restrictions than ever. I wonder who they will blame the murder of such a tremendous ecosystem on when all the watermen are gone? It would be humorous if it weren't so sad.
spoiler

United States

#26 Aug 18, 2008
peeking in water wrote:
2 wrongs do not make a right.
Over harvesting and pollution are the cause.
As well as over development and rain water run off.
It's being killed by the all mighty dollar.
Now, I can agree with you on this. More balance and constructive criticism like this is what we need. The over harvesting has been dealt with or is being dealt with...now what about the rest.
I Agree

United States

#27 Aug 18, 2008
Ken Smith wrote:
I by no means want to get into an argument here but I ask you to think about this.
40% of the Bay is a dead zone, meaning that it cannot support any type of life.
All of the microscopic life that the bay needs to produce as well as the larvae from crabs and oyster move back and forth with the tide. Anytime that larvae passes through a dead zone it is gone along with any other type of life.
No one is saying regulations aren’t needed. What is being said is that if you don’t fix the cause then you will never fix the problem.
Ken Smith
Vice President Virginia Waterman’s Association
I'm in total agreement with you, Ken. I'm not a waterman but I find it of interest that many, whom I can only assume have availed themselves of first rate educations, continue to berate and ridicule the life of the waterman on these forums - often suggesting that they are ignorant or need to go back to school. I would like to see our newspapers offer serious and credible information about what's happening to the bay. There seems to be a disconnect between the media and what's really going on. There is much more to the eminent demise of the bay than over harvesting. It's a complicated ecosystem that has been abused for the sake of a buck and the DP seems to be the water carrier for our local government.
Jimmy P

Norfolk, VA

#28 Aug 18, 2008
It was only within the last 20 years that HRSD partnered with Smithfield Foods to start treating the pig slop being pump into the Pagen River. That's one company. Now we have chicken slop being pumped into the bay (Eastern Shore), toxic chemicals being pumped into the Elizabeth River, nuclear wasted spilled into the James River and so on and so on. I don't think it's going to help the bay that much to further restrict our watermen.
holymoly

United States

#29 Aug 18, 2008
There are fewer watermen now than ever before. Yet, the poulations of all animals in the bay are suffering. This extends to plants that aren't being harvested. Here is the problem...watermen ar the easy scapegoat. We can regulate them, fine them, see their faces. They are NOT the problem, pollution from industry and sonar from naval ships are the REAL culprit. If everyone understood the problem perhaps something could be done. Unfortunately people like to see the easy way out, even if it is not accomplishing anything.

P.S. Bubba, for your information watermen are educated. Just because someone chooses to work on the water doesn't make him/her less intelligent or educated.
holymoly

United States

#30 Aug 18, 2008
Jimmy P wrote:
It was only within the last 20 years that HRSD partnered with Smithfield Foods to start treating the pig slop being pump into the Pagen River. That's one company. Now we have chicken slop being pumped into the bay (Eastern Shore), toxic chemicals being pumped into the Elizabeth River, nuclear wasted spilled into the James River and so on and so on. I don't think it's going to help the bay that much to further restrict our watermen.
AMEN! Let's add Yorktown's oil refinery and coal burning power plant, West Point's paper mill, Norfolk's Shipyard, and everything in Richmond that flows down the James.
Surry with a fringe

Atlanta, GA

#31 Aug 18, 2008
Good luck with that one. If my employer goes out of business because he spends money recklessly, can I sue him too? Where does it end?
Walther

Virginia Beach, VA

#32 Aug 18, 2008
All anyone needs to do is look at the commercial harvest in other countries. These are largely unregulated and look at the devastation! Most countries are down to fishing for trash fish because the commercials have completely wiped out the food fish stock. The USA and the US States have the right idea. The commercials - unregulated - will completely destroy the fish stocks in the USA. It's just a fact of life with the commercials. They need to watched constantly. As do some recreational fishermen of course. I saw a guy on another boat keep an obviously undersized flounder yesterday. Called it in but don't know if the VMRC caught him.
Save the Deep Creek Pier

Newport News, VA

#33 Aug 20, 2008
We need to honor the legacy of Bonniebelle Amory Melzer and rebuild the Deep Creek Pier.
BuBBa

United States

#35 Aug 20, 2008
I Agree wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm in total agreement with you, Ken. I'm not a waterman but I find it of interest that many, whom I can only assume have availed themselves of first rate educations, continue to berate and ridicule the life of the waterman on these forums - often suggesting that they are ignorant or need to go back to school. I would like to see our newspapers offer serious and credible information about what's happening to the bay. There seems to be a disconnect between the media and what's really going on. There is much more to the eminent demise of the bay than over harvesting. It's a complicated ecosystem that has been abused for the sake of a buck and the DP seems to be the water carrier for our local government.
The information is there and the DP and other media reports it accurately. The problem is many have blinders on and refuse to accept the fact the problem is over harvesting. Plain and simple. The answer is ban all commercial oyster and crab harvesting and watch what happens.
Save the Deep Creek Pier

Newport News, VA

#36 Aug 20, 2008
We need to honor the legacy of the Melzer family and rebuild the Deep Creek pier.
Surf52

Baltimore, MD

#37 Aug 20, 2008
I didn't know there was a constitutional right to overfish the bay. That must be included in the umpteenth amendment.
YouHelpFixIt

Scottsdale, AZ

#38 Aug 20, 2008
BuBBa wrote:
<quoted text>
The information is there and the DP and other media reports it accurately. The problem is many have blinders on and refuse to accept the fact the problem is over harvesting. Plain and simple. The answer is ban all commercial oyster and crab harvesting and watch what happens.
I think that banning it completely would destroy the industry. Also it seems that we should not just give away our natural resources to a few select individuals.

I propose we auction off exclusive five year licenses to harvest crabs from certain sections of the bay. Put restrictions in place that no one could have more than 10% of the licenses so competition would remain and the lease expiration dates could be staggered so that there would be an auction every year. If the commercial watermen knew they had exclusive rights to an area they might not over harvest until the last year of the lease.
Corporate Clam

Mannboro, VA

#39 Aug 20, 2008
In related news...

Farmers affected by drought conditions are considering filing a class action suit against the government over global warming.

Victims of Katrina are watching this case.
TidewaterLiberta rian

Aylett, VA

#40 Aug 20, 2008
Corporate Clam wrote:
In related news...
Farmers affected by drought conditions are considering filing a class action suit against the government over global warming.
Victims of Katrina are watching this case.
Farmers suing the government?!?

This is a great example of biting the hand that feeds you.
MELANIE PADGETT

Chesapeake, VA

#41 Sep 23, 2008
I HAVE LIVED IN VB SINCE 83 AND I HAVE RAISED MY DAUGHTER ON THE BAY-NEXT TO THE CHES BAY BRIDGE.
SHE IS NOW ALMOST 17 AND GOES TO COX HIGH SCHOOL.
SHE AND I SHARE A PASSION FOR THE OCEAN AND THE FOOD THAT IT PROVIDES. SHE HELPED IN MIDDLE SCHOOL TO REPLENISH THE OYSTERS. WE ARE NOW LOOKING FOR ANY PROGRAM THAT WILL LOG COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS FOR COLLEGE DOING THE SAME OR ANYTHING RELATIVE TO GIVING BACK TO THE WILDLIFE IN THE BAY-ANY IDEAS? I GUESS I CHECK THE BLOG-

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