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Think Tank 10am, In House Guest

Mar 19, 2014|

Today on the Garland Robinette show: We’re not only losing the Louisiana coastline but some of our fisheries are fast disappearing. Menhaden, the second largest commercial fish in America, are falling to overfishing and lack of oxygen in the gulf. Menhaden is the essential food of many marine species. Can it be saved? Joining us at 10, Will Ward, Master Captain , licensed by th U.S. Coast Guard as a merchant marine also President & CEO, Captains Finest Seafood; Harry Lowenberg, Gulf Restoration Network & Captain Markham Dickson, Fisherman, Charter Captain, and leader on fish issues with GRN (Gulf Restoration Network)

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Get about a number of things this hour of Manhattan. Very very important we boot swords fish or spore. Those beaches in the -- for office. From the retail side. Under for a we've got to people who come within broom from Mexico and other -- news illegally fishing. In the -- with the illegal. Further. Are hurting the cat and we've been human trafficking. Working into it and the suspicion that drug court so Sharon ball. We're world war -- those who is see -- -- captain fund is seafood we have heard Laura -- with the gulf restoration of port. And captain mark Dixon fishermen charter boat captain and leader on the issues issues with the gold rush reaching network. Curry you started to make port right -- Right they got a lot of what ties these different issues together is the main in my campaign -- gulf. Fish forever. It's about how -- we maintain this resource of it fishermen and and consumers have fish now but also into the future that our interest. Here so the men Hayden we know misspoke he -- here in the gulf because police. Guillermo -- -- quite -- your callers can tell us that. Actually if I think I I don't know the exact word but it came from another name off the East Coast and the suffix of it was -- now there. That that they think they've been -- female everything about the fish there one of the only fish that really. Filter. The water a day day day he took. The plankton that they they start up when they're young with the final plankton in the when they're older than. This though plankton. And they convert that into you know in in. The -- one of their main purpose is that eating make the a little podium it will take four gallons a minute of water through its system. Filtering out the plankton filtering the water. Turning that into to mask and then the other -- just love these -- they're very very -- ignorant and they're very phony. Small -- bony fish that humans don't really go for but almost every other species out there -- -- it is the food of choice. So dolphins in tune. And now operate all the fish shop there and -- love. And and pelicans too by the way a lot of lot of the birds mammals. Just loved the fish in case they swim in the east. Giant baseball that are there pricked at protected them all because predators can't really get in the middle that people they can just kind of get from the from the outside but but the humans being so Smart we've well we've figure out how to spot. We we we surround them with purse seine nets tighten it up and and vacuum everything on to a ship. And we're in this spot Munis hear from from the airplane that was sent out a spotter plane and we respond and we send the ship that they surround them. Vacuum everything out and we don't really know is they're not really we don't really know how much bi catch there is there's very little transparency in this very little regulation. That has actually on here today is always the larger species. That come in and -- on these fish are get wrapped company's net you know and they make -- set on in Hayden to -- person. So you've got to massive circular net -- are on the ice fishing in the -- and into increasingly smaller areas that are able to vacuum. The smaller -- -- fish onto the ships and what I've witnessed fish out Bretton sound and over the last five Summers. I've witnessed a lot of massive fish kills on talking tens of thousands of fish floating dead on the surface. These are. Primarily mature red fish which is a fish in 1988 was in endangered status. Fully protected its many great rebounds it's a success story for Louisiana so it's important. -- we don't forget that we have to maintain its resource says. What I've seen is these these fishermen killed. And you don't see in -- normal fish kill a red -- or something else you would see. -- white truck all species of fish all mixed together because it's it's either bacteria or lack of oxygen but these fish kills are all. The apex predators that follow these -- Hayden while men Hayden ships are netting in Breton sound. The Fisher and that official as -- stand with floating in Hayden bogeys. The foam by product from the process all piled up in the same area so it's something that needs to be research to see if he's Fisher being killed -- process not -- my suspicion is navy that when they drawn so close together oxygen levels are very low. Out there and during the summer and it's possible that they're actually suffocating in this huge mass of -- and Hayden has the nets pushed tighter and tighter together. And there's no oxygen in that water that the time it takes the -- and in Hayden out they suffocate. And the Fisher never brought on board because the process of harvesting in Hayden. Has exclude her strange fish that are too big has an -- and he's he's only about twelve inches long full grown so. And innuendo is trying to bring that out there that this is happening out there and there's a possibility. That we need to get some some state regulation to it to try to see if we're Killen a bunch of these big mature pitcher -- fish. To tell me if these figures role. And and if they're bright. Is this legal. Long lines thirty mile it's a hoax on line and recall in -- -- equal to 520. Football field. Surfers along the line can choose. AD. Plus non target species many dial in -- -- from the water up for eighteen hours. Serve as long liners keep less than half the sword -- they catch because you're too small. 77%. Of these discordant indicted and then it goes into long list of species that are being threatened consequences. Eighty figures -- -- those are corrective about it. That thirty miles probably averaged some of those long lines are 45 miles long. An unbelievable 700 together both legal and and and they do have observers on board they do you know they do keep careful track through -- that's one difference between these two fisheries is that the long lines -- are very carefully monitored. But there's some alternatives so long lining. That we've gotten some of the long miners involved with testing and are enthusiastic about it there's -- there's a proposal in two the national -- in the natural resources damage assessment profits from the BP oil spill. There's a proposal in to use some of the BP funds to help do some alternative. -- and we're optimistic that that that's really going to be. Beneficial to the fishermen and to the -- and to the whole. You know and reducing the amount of waste. That does the this gear. Is actively -- lines where the long line. That that they put those out for an average of eighteen hours so it pretty much everything they pull up is is dead by the time. They caught up. But it -- did the today the -- -- here which will's been very involved with -- monitor what is the pilot project on that they've they've been. -- real optimistic that that if we can get the funding to help these fisherman transition -- that that don't be able to make a living doing that where they're really getting squeezed now what. What goes on monitors. Do you forget. Forty miles of -- thirty miles of -- -- more. And most of the fishing brought in -- dead. What was there and making sure that the fishermen are following the rules and that -- that there are accurate reports on what's being brought in so that those statistics you have or as a result of having that kind of program. Yet captains can get black marks are good marks for avoiding you know species like. For -- that the pressures on the bluefin tuna when they come in this ball. So it -- Yemen observer on board you can see if the captains -- in his sets an area where baseball and they catch less split them. You won't know unless you get somebody there watching. Quote question -- good news Manhattan. Like true that in. Specs and -- that. That he. Put the babies in this true word is that -- -- -- and that's been the first year there yet they spend their first year of their life and in one. And then when there. More mature and they don't live to be two or three years and they they're out there there sure bet they're still close again there have the wetlands would go way. This whole concerning the gag order because they're right so this is where we have a real common interest with the industry is that it -- wetlands restoration it's necessary for -- from the industry expert and and for the fish in Little League justice. Well what about the people that say. -- that's -- we lose -- inspections. For -- than men and but -- just like be like the East Coast -- West Coast will cancel the rate like shall warmer. Well that's what's so Richard -- we've he has so much of so much of the seafood that the nation consumes comes from Louisiana because of the richness of our. Of our estuary system and it's and it it's it. Everything here in the fall -- -- about a 90% of its been some part of its life. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Bill on the north sure you're holding on saved this couple more minutes for can be your call right -- the products we make this quick got a lot of important issue for a -- together to -- were primarily talking about Manhattan. Bogey finish. Well the basic nutrient sources for species a lot species in the ago. I mean we're food source for lord for his marina and moved seabirds. And filled and -- help clean things up. But also. All the problems that related to them -- will award witnessed. She used C bureau captain -- seafood. Terrible inverted gold rush ration that we're. And captain Marcus Dixon who is also would call -- ration network. Who would soon rest but before we get sorted. Are you want to let people who you know plight put them. We put a petition up on the website on the mandate issue because it it's just not being managed with look at that the whole system the whole ecosystem. So that this petition asks for I'm a management plan that includes how it relates to all the others. Species -- -- creditor relationships that kind of thing it's on our website which helped the golf dot org. Just put a slide up on there it's right at the opening page. And it's really easy to sign up on that we need to let the regulators and officials no. The people are paying attention so -- really when asked people go to help Peco dot org. Signed that petition. There's also a but the chance this weekend on Saturday to just -- to come -- until. Tell your story about what's you've been affected by the BP oil spill. About what's happening with our fisheries. And to participate in the cultural event to do -- folks from cry you -- Drama troupe are going to be there musicians that is. Some foam and a chance to just tell stories about what's happening with this it's real important that the Osce cultural center and reach the castle hill but that's on the web site also so it's healthy gulf that sort of. Before the -- over world view about it rose again. -- a hero who went -- grosses. But I'm looking at. Primarily -- -- from -- from Mexico coming in and illegally fishing. And when the Coast Guard stopped most of what you're doing that well we don't have anymore. In our side and we go we go fish it then -- well -- that in my hearing that for a to a. He -- -- Garland the the issue is illegal and reported non regulated fisherman fishing which is commonly known as mighty fishing nets. A problem -- from the gulf. Nationally around this country's coastline but also internationally it's problems the other three dimensional problem here we have local in the gulf region nationally and internationally and how that affects. The gulf region is that it affects coaching directly affecting it -- the coaching that's going on directly in the Gulf of Mexico. Affects a whole myriad of fisheries red snapper grouper shrimp lobster. The collegiate species of tunis and -- so these are direct impacts from coaching activities -- -- that from Mexican. Nationals coming over but also Caribbean actors and folks that are coming over and coaching directly in the Gulf of Mexico in violation. -- the US national. And international treaties that we're a party to. So that's really the the issue and it's up to give them idea of the magnitude of the score and we're talking about over twenty million dollars of seafood is coached. Taken -- billion dollars well over twenty billion dollars net internationally -- coached six times that of what is legally caught. But the US seafood industry so. In the Gulf of Mexico for example -- and our economic impact collectively the recreational commercial district is about a fourteen point seven billion dollar economic driver. To our five gulf states for -- Texas include of course -- Italy's. So we have. And interest protect its sovereign interest protect in the United States in terms of our sovereign fisheries being attacked by folks that are. Illegally fishing or fishing and reported on regulated and it's an ongoing problem and as you alluded to earlier on now cartels have taken notice of it and they are now taking. Up arms to do so it's -- it's -- -- -- -- involving a myriad of things so it's illegal fishing human trafficking. For the sex slave trade but also for labor practices and then furthermore. Folks that are involved and and documented cases of -- -- as well so. You can picture of fishing boat fishing vessel on the drug cartel being a look out for court -- for pathway for legal immigrants or for. Illegal human trafficking drugs but also poaching away the fisheries that are absolutely important. To the gulf region both recreational fishermen and commercial punishment should be very trips it is anything being done. Well we've been working on of golf fishermen's association a number of very concerned business entities and NGOs such hysteria and others have come together. To work on legislation so the legislation. That is now moving through congress the international future stewardship and enforcement act that senate bill 269 for those who wanted to Google it. The part fishing elimination act but senate bill 267. People wanna -- that information about those are two pieces of legislation that have now gone through the senate. That have gone through committee foreign relations committee and set for a senate transportation sized companies unanimously. Believe the astronaut garments as a -- -- weird time. Rarely do Republicans that Democrats. Agree about anything right on oh yeah oh yeah get ready here come couldn't -- -- -- a look at the terrible you've got to report it well you know we got a good new Pope so that's good news for those of you maybe about that's right there it is so. Divine intervention grow it but I'll take it will take it as an industry folk in the gulf region were deeply concerned about this issue both assistant regionally nationally and internationally. And so these two pieces of legislation. Or great stop to start I should say to stop the improvement of detection of these illegal activities prosecution of them. A puts vessels and on an idealist so that we can. But in essence have ways to identify them as bad actors that would be under the international fisheries and stewardship act for example but and furthermore the part fishing in the nation -- Authorizes the secretary of commerce to actually have. On board inspections of the vessels and notification of foreign vessels this is a foreign vessel -- -- -- so keep that be mindful of this and illegal domestic issues this is that these bills address it's illegal foreign actors in the theater of American fisheries. And you are apparently very complicated. Little lipstick and of Britain will come right back. Questions column and we have the experts -- eggs -- wondered somebody told -- Anywhere in the country -- it's accidents it is and zero cent over particular about the golf a little bit different where we're thinking about Manhattan. -- the most important vision in this seat. For products that that we use and also as one of the main sources of food. In the country. All Republican time magazine article that says child slaves. May have cost of finishing your freezer. And it's talking about home and you would be illegal. Picture of people in the gulf. Or using child labor. They're using it to transport sex slaves using it to transport. Drugs. Looking yeah litigation. -- not litigation bills that congress trying to be perhaps. To do something about -- Forward go to our guests bullets go back to phone calls Paula in due to -- -- preacher and call. No no. The caller then. This is will war start I was referring to over twenty billion dollars worth of -- in the world and globally not the real not related at all to -- A pretty sure it's called very much mark you're out there finishing every you're honorable captain. I always here and and I've done -- soars over the years on the bedroom. I think its size and commit voters something every year with the service no oxygen. Do you see the results. Use community is any indication that that's a major problem. Yeah I -- the closest I've seen anything like that is and last year we had a lot of water that was covered. It was green. You know there was a lot of algae in the water. And you know that's part of what causes dads and nitrogen Stew and who get it goes right from the get you -- Dallas to -- we cut out the sunlight -- cutting off the oxygen. And you know I haven't seen the massive multi species fish kill that you'd expect from that. The only thing I know as a charter captain is when you get that kind of water you run. You know when you see a -- and in this cal -- are coming this year say yes try to move around it. I think a lot of it is very fluid out there it's going with the current with the with with a win and says. -- million have been affected by this. -- sure and in they spend a big part of their time in Finland two two. They are and there day they have an effect too because there are filter fish. But we do have to we have to pay attention to all of the nitrogen. Nitrates that are coming down the river. What I just heard about this week is that. The farm bureau is now suing the EPA for trying to have a management plan in Chesapeake Bay to reduce those. Debt debt debt sewn up there. So we're going to file a friend of the court brief and we need others do that. In support of the EPA having a management we've been calling on them for years. Two to pay attention to what's going on with our with the dead zone. Say Louisiana has this should have a strong interest in reducing that but instead to. Just basically denies the problem. And everything you were talking and from from sex trafficking trial laborer. Drugs illegal fishing. Completion of this species. Are we getting an ordinary in the income. Collapse and -- -- of any species are part of the industry. Or is this something we talk about climate change and wetlands laws thirty. Fifty years you know -- a lot a lot of species that are in in real danger. And it does you know it. It doesn't take some take much. They're -- can be close to collapse and there are some that -- our authorities. Go on there what we have seen on a positive note is that over the you know since -- 1990s it. That there has been really some good management plans and fish that if you know come back from the brink. Over that time and no we need to look at this that those success stories as well. So we're gonna have a and and night showing a documentary film on non. Sustainable seafood. One of the local -- is Gannett -- prepare some food for its all gonna be freer donation. Only it's going to be to. Carbo cafe Carlo on on Julia street five 527 Julia street. And it's going to be April 3 so we'll put that up on the web site as well and it on Thursday night April 3 730 we'll have. This documentary on a sustainable seafood and a discussion about it Mort your thoughts. Yeah I have a couple quick comments about in Hayden he says they are we looking at a crash for this population if you look at what happened off the East Coast and give a quote for a month. Old war or to a fighter pilot last name waters it's how waters. And he came back in 1950s and worked as a spotter plane pilot and when he was eighty years old -- looking back in his life he says. And because you know they close the native fishery in all the states to Virginia. And in metric tons or somewhere on 130. Wears down here were around you know 58600. So. They're not arcing off the entire Atlantic coast what we're -- now at times three. On the ideas that would crash he said. And we're responsible for the disappearance of these fish and the reason is they had nowhere to hide. This is a man do you know good American he's he -- inducted as life and he's saying. You know from this plane packets the only schools of fish and we fished him to death so that's why. In Louisiana it's important for us not to do that one little quick thing about in the native fishery. What I'm trying to say is a Louisiana resident as somebody's a fisherman in Louisiana. Look at this industry and say are they playing by the rules because we play by the rules we can only take one mature red fish per day. And so if you look at the effect to that. These fish are really good -- quality as a fisherman you don't go out target them they're you're untouchable -- stock that -- off -- And it's a big multimillion dollar. Operation comes through without regard these fish and if they are indeed killing and that's something we need to take a look at. And make sure they're playing by the same rules we are. Joseph alone and very very very important issues will -- Paul what shows on this so I appreciate -- I'm sure. Everybody this thing groups and would appreciate Blanchard who. Thanks for coming. -- -- Governor of the -- come in right all right don't forget to give on -- the goal dot org sign the petition concerning all the notes. Illegal fishing Waltz of -- and that. And also we have got to and number builds to stop the illegal fishing. Get to you or a representative. Congress senate and tell them you want that bill brought up -- wanted voted on. Galarraga would -- would call to think we're coming right back and we'll talk about something else that affects all of us and the gulf activists.