I’ve often said in order to protect our oceans, we need better laws, but more importantly, we need to enforce the laws we already have. This article by the St. Petersburg Times illustrates this point to a T. Long-lining, a fishing technique that boosts catches, generates enough revenue to allow boat owners to hire contract crews. But contract crews are in such short supply that those that continuously break the law suffer no consequences and have no problem getting hired.
The quote of the day comes from Lawrence Divirgilio, a boat-owner who hired a less-than-reputable captain for his ship. “It’s a damn shame we have to break a law to make a living.”
It’s time the laws protecting our oceans were enforced just like the laws we land-based creatures have to live by. What we need is simple: fishery managers around the world with the courage and will to vigorously enforce the law.