I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about gill nets over the past two weeks. When news of Judge Jackie Fulford’s ruling first reached me, I was attending a saltwater media conference in Key Largo. Our hosts, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, are ardent supporters of recreational fishing and hunting. Several of the presentations throughout the conference focused on the economic value of recreational fishing over commercial fishing. In this setting, it was not a surprise to hear scant sympathy for the netters’ cause. But no one seemed too concerned. The consensus was basically “no big deal — it’ll go away.”
Well, if you’ve kept up with the story in the news, you know it didn’t just go away. The good news is that it’s settled for the moment and law enforcement is back enforcing the law. The less-good news is that we now need to revisit the idea of not only gill nets but fishing nets in general.
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