Charter operators need to reel in greed

Posted: Monday, February 26, 2007

If I take a taxi to a store, the driver doesn't come in and shop with me.

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If I take a taxi to the airport, the driver doesn't travel with me.

If I take a taxi to a fisheries management meeting, the driver doesn't come in and testify with me. The driver is simply a means of transporting me to my desired destination.

Charter boat operators have characterized themselves as "just taxies transporting clients." It is ludicrous for these so-called taxi operators to think they should be able to fish themselves or keep a client's fish. They may have missed the concept, but it is important to have some type of conservation strategy. Historically, charter operators have adamantly opposed every resource preservation or conservation measure that has been enacted. Now, resource managers are seeing the dangers of allocation that lead to overfishing. They are enacting needed conservation measures that charter operators are again adamantly opposing. As has been proven in the past in other continually expanding charter fisheries, clients are just as happy to fish whatever the limit is, even if it is one fish. Charter operators need to harness their greed, quit their griping and realize that they are what they say they are - just taxis transporting fishermen.

Otto Florschutz


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