Government regulators are pushing to have expensive tracking devices placed on commercial and charter fishing vessels so they can tell if they are
fishing in restricted areas. Fishermen are fighting back saying it's a violation of their privacy.
The federal government wants hundreds of commercial fishermen and charter boat captains to carry expensive tracking devices so regulators can tell if
they are fishing in restricted waters.
The devices, which run up to $3,800 to install, would bounce signals off satellites and pinpoint a boat’s exact location. These systems are
necessary, regulators say, to protect grouper, snapper and other troubled species in the Gulf of Mexico.
Angry fishermen began fighting back Monday by filing suit in Tampa federal court, saying the devices violate their constitutional right to privacy.
The Gulf Fishermen’s Association, which filed the suit, wants a judge to stop the government from carrying out the plan.
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First of, if they're concerned about the fish, it should be a state issue, not a federal issue. The Federal Government should have no say-so when it
comes to Florida waters. It's up to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to regulate this.
Secondly, I really don't think it has anything to do with saving the fish. I think the Federal Government wants to monitor where commercial vessels
are sailing within, or even outside of, the U.S.'s territorial waters.
Having a tracking device on a vessel might tell them if they are IN illegal areas, but they have no way of proving that they were actually fishing
there. On top of that, fish move around...so how is it going to stop illegal fishing in areas that aren't marked as prohibited? I know for a fact
that grouper don't stay in one particular area and can be caught just about anywhere.
Next they're going to want to track recreational boats as well.
[edit on 10-24-2006 by elderban]