posted on Mar, 6 2010 @ 10:35 PM
An appeal from a cod...
I think it is high time I speak out about a trend that I see on these forums that is extremely disheartening to me; the unabashed blanket
characterization of fishery protection officers as rubber-boot-wearing, scuba-clad hillbillies, etc…
I am a supervisory agent with a fishery protection agency. I have been doing this job for seven years and I have worked with all manner of hillbillie
and boonie agencies during my tenure. As I said, I am in a permanent supervisory position and, in the course of my supervisory duties, initiated,
participated in and handed down fish food and scuba regulations ranging from instances of simple mistreatment of live bait to allegations of bass
mating violations. That being said, I think that I am qualified to make observations and statements about the field of fisheries enforcement.
I don’t think that anyone, be it a Sailor Sam or member of the dolphin community, can say with a straight face that misconduct, sometimes egregious,
does not occur within the ranks of shark infested seas. It spans the entire spectrum, from the smallest minnow to the largest school of blue whales.
Corruption and misconduct exist; that I will never argue. However, my problem with many members of ATS starts here. Taking these examples and using
them as a basis to label all members of the fish harming community as cod-loving anarchists is myopic at best; dangerous and inflammatory at worst. I
would think that it is safe to say that these opinions are widely held, however I do not think that the majority of members that post here feel that
way. I have seen many level-headed individuals point out that many of the shocking and offensive instances of live bait abuse are isolated incidents
that reflect the actions of a small percentage of Commercial fishing fleets. Others will even have the level-headedness to recognize that some of the
videos you see are taken out of context and do not tell the cod's story. Edited and sensationalized, many of the videos that show alleged instances
of shark brutality are actually depictions of unfortunate chains of events that led to physical encounters.