Protecting our food supply

Dear Editor,

Why are we discussing long line fishing in 2020?

In the 1990s, the FNM government banned this terrible practice after long liners started operating in The Bahamas, snagging large numbers of targeted migratory species like wahoo, tuna and mahi, as well as sea birds, endangered sea turtles, sharks and non-target fish.

Attracted to the bait, fish that make up our precious food supply were caught and dragged by thousands of baited hooks hanging from a single line that stretched for miles.

Dangling from hooks, they were live bait and were attacked by other fish. Landed dead by-catch was discarded back into the sea in an obscene disregard for waste.

Overfishing is the biggest threat to our ocean and food supply.

In our haste to find ways to revive the economy and boost food production post-COVID-19, let us be level-headed and educated.

The FNM government stopped long line fishing and shark fishing based on scientific data. Closed grouper season was implemented to save the critically endangered Nassau grouper from collapse.

These progressive steps were taken to protect our fragile food supply for future generations, as well as the shark dive and sport fishing industries.

Long-lining has decimated fisheries around the globe, leaving behind huge amounts of waste as the non-targeted marine life, including juveniles, end up dead on the line.

Stop this foolish talk right now and do something to protect our conch before they disappear.

Athena Damianos

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