We have not published anything by a non-scientist… until today! A fisherman responds to George Burgess

D.Grachek_optRecently on CFOOD we started a new series where we talk to fishery biologists and let them steer the conversation. We (try to) post one per week and invite anyone to comment or respond to whatever statements our interview subjects make. Our special shark week conversation was with noted shark biologist George Burgess. Dick Grachek, a fisherman out of Point Judith, took issue with some of Burgess’s comments on shark fishermen and women and the spiny dogfish fishery. Here, he responds to Burgess and offers a fisherman’s perspective not often seen.

A response to George Burgess by Dick Grachek – There exists a carefully controlled and stringently regulated legitimate shark fishery! I have an issue with how George Burgess spoke about shark fishermen and women. He made inaccurate and misleading generalized statements about sharks and shark finning and claimed that, unless carefully scrutinized, “fishers will sneak in extra fins.” In particular, making silly statements about Spiny Dogfish as “high value,” implies a motive for overfishing and contributes to a perception of commercial fishing as greedy and uncaring plunder. These misinformed perceptions lead to baseless regulations. Such regulations are destructive to the fish and the fishermen. They can, and often do, prevent legitimate harvesting of a vital, healthy food source. Read the rest here 20:58

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