to second, and later editions)
1998: New Players, Same Game, pp. 395-401.
Ironically, the first edition of WETLAND
RIDERS comes off the press in October,
1994, the same year that state biologists
announce that the redfish harvest can
safely be expanded to allow a sustainable
commercial catch of up to 3.2 million
pounds per year.
there would be no high-road approach
to the allocation of Louisiana’s
plentiful fishery resources. Nor would
the state’s inadequate efforts
to save its rapidly eroding coastline
be bolstered at the local level.
petroleo-foundations in the early 1990s hire
national environmental groups to carry out
the most expensive and elaborate “environmental
education” campaign in the nation’s
history. The Global Fish Crisis Campaign of
the Pews and Rockefellers equates commercial
fishing with “extinction,“ while
universally failing to mention the impact
of an exploding recreational fishery.
this once-in-a-lifetime backdrop, sportsmen
go to work. Rather than targeting individual
species as “gamefish,“ they demonize
the fishermen’s harvesting equipment--the
net--and go for all of the fish.
Caught between the moral indignation spawned
by “The Environmentalists”
on the Left, and the raw political and financial
power of “The Sportsmen” on the
Right, family fishermen are, in many cases,
a 1994 referendum, Floridians vote 7:3 to
add an amendment to their state’s constitution
that outlaws fishing with nets; also in 1994,
sportsmen prod Pennsylvania‘s legislature
to quietly shut down the state’s 300-year-old
commercial fishery in Lake Erie; in 1995,
Alabama reaches a compromise between the two
factions that is hailed as a “New Age”
in fishery management while Mississippi sportsmen
destroy that state’s net fishery and,
in the same year, the Louisiana Legislature
bans the use of nets for the harvest of virtually
all coastal finfish.
the six years from 1989 through 1994 commercial
fishermen harvested no reds, while sport fishermen
landed more than 30 million pounds, an annual
average of five million pounds.
1995, as they clamored to “Ban the Nets!,”
anglers took an all-time record number of
red drum: 2.4 million fish weighing 10 million
Click on a chapter for a synopsis: