Come to Baton Rouge this Thurs to support Louisiana Fishermen
Just to let all my fisherman friends and families know, there will be a meeting in Baton Rouge at the Wildlife and Fisheries building (2000 Quail Dr.) on Thursday March 15th at 10 am, concerning the possible implementation of TEDs (Turtle Excluder Devices) in our inland skimmer nets, also the implementation of an onboard observer program for our vessels. We need all of you to come out and voice opposition to these unwarranted, unnecessary and unjust measures.
There is not one drop of science to justify these new regulations. This is just the Federal and State government bowing under pressure and threats of litigation from out of state Environmental Non Governmental Organizations (ENGO's), over turtle deaths caused by the BP oil/dispersant disaster. Certain ENGO's are blaming the shrimpers for turtle deaths and using the oil spill to fix a problem the fishermen did not cause in the first place.
Our skimmers are not killing turtles. Before the BP spill, turtle deaths had declined significantly. At the same time, shrimpers were using skimmers without TEDs, in Louisiana State waters. They are not needed to protect turtles. What they are needed for is to keep the money flowing into the ENGOs supporting these regulations. Fishermen and fishing communities are suffering along with the turtles.
We also need all of our NGO and ENGO friends and partners (remember the Gumbo Alliance?), that work with fishermen and fishing communities, to come out and stand with us in staunch opposition to these proposed, unnecessary new measures. We need a new alliance, I'll call in the Mumbo-Jumbo Alliance, because that is basically what these new proposed measures are, a bunch of mumbo-jumbo.
Come to Baton Rouge on Thursday, March 15, 2012 and stand with us in support of the Louisiana culture and heritage that we all love. We need your bodies in the room and your mouth at the mic. Please share this and help us get people to Baton Rouge this Thursday!
Photo by Shirley Tillman.
Mike Roberts is a commercial fisherman in Barataria, Louisiana. He works with Louisiana Bayoukeeper and the Association of Family Fishermen, and is on the board of the Louisiana Shrimp Association.