The sooner Del Norte figures it out, the better off they will be.
◼ Letters to the Editor July 24, 2010
Written by The Daily Triplicate Readers July 24, 2010 10:55 am
Humboldt Baykeeper should not tell Del Norte where to fish
Regarding Pete Nichols’ July 17 letter (“Humboldt Baykeeper acts with all interests in mind”), you are right, Pete, I have not tried to cooperate with a process that is so completely compromised as the one pushed on our community by the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative. While you speak of your fear of someone else making decisions for us, who are you to decide that Del Norte county should lose the prime fishing area around Wilson Rock.
Your group has been the leader in pushing the closure of that area. As you told me when you proposed it, the Wilson Rock closure starts at 8.5 miles from the No. 2 buoy. That is 1.5 miles into the safety zone you agreed to. That is why I have not seen any way to cooperate with your group.
As for your accusation that I do not work with the whole northern area in mind, apart for my continuous call for safety areas around our rough northern harbors, I am representing the Del Norte fishing community. Our local stakeholder group identified the most pristine area to close at Pyramid Point. It costs our fishing community very little, nothing like the $150,000-$350,000 that Wilson Rock will cost in lost revenue yearly. It is little used thus should be of highest value in this process.
We have not even discussed the non-monetary costs of a reserve at Wilson Creek. Fishermen are the sentries of the ocean. Fishermen are usually the ones who find point source pollution, and we are the first responders whose little boats can fight the inshore battle to save intertidal areas. By weakening us with unnecessary closures that do not take into account the fishing waters we have already given up, you increase the chance that our aquatic communities will be ravaged by pollution.
There are already abundant laws that make disturbing birds and marine mammals illegal. The beach around the Wilson Rock area is unreachable by land past Hidden Beach, and protected by national park status. No boat can safely get even near the shore, and the rookery atop Wilson Rock is over 100 feet high. The birds do not even flinch when a boat passes by, and boats passing by will still happen even after the area is closed to fishing. Yet you see a reason for stopping fishermen from using the area.
Del Norte County deserves better than being told where to fish by the Humboldt Baykeeper.