Support for the National Aquarium not justified this time
Baltimore Canyon a sanctuar y?
I recently read with some disbelief that the folks representing the National Aquarium in Baltimore are seeking to make the Baltimore Canyon area off the Atlantic Coast the nation’s first Urban National Marine Sanctuar y. Disbelief because the canyon area supports a multi-million dollar fishing industry, which provides a lot of recreation and food for anglers throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
Appropriately, the charter boat industry in Ocean City is alarmed.
According to the National Aquarium’s online petition drive, a designation of the nation’s first Urban National Marine Sanctuary for the Baltimore Canyon “presents a unique opportunity to connect an urban population to the ecological treasure using cutting edge deep sea exploration technology.”
Fishing industry representatives know a sanctuary designation could eventually limit, restrict, or perhaps prohibit recreational and commercial fishing in the canyon.
Attorney Mark Cropper, representing marina owners, charter boat captains, and other stakeholders, said:
“The one truism in all of this is, if the Baltimore Canyon is not designated, then we have nothing to worry about. Even if they say there will be no limitations or restrictions on fishing, it is very easy to change that after the designation. It would be at the political whim of who is president or Secretary of Commerce at the time.”
While I support the overall efforts of the National Aquarium, this particular effort is not worthy of support, simply because it’s not needed.
According to the aquarium folks, “Proximity to the Baltimore Canyon and Baltimore’s wealth of scientific and educational institutions, supported by the educational and interpretative capabilities of the National Aquarium — which hosts over 1.3 million visitors and educates over 150,000 youth annually — could create valuable opportunities for Aquarium guests to better appreciate the treasures of the Canyon and engage students who otherwise might not have access to STEM careers in a city where they are needed, encouraging investment in Baltimore and our deep seas.”
That doesn’t really make sense. Scientists can study the area as much as they want already. There’s no need to designate the canyon area as a sanctuary. There’s also no need to leave anglers out of the ecological picture.
Apparently, the aquarium’s fund-raising and grant purposes are more important than the thousands of people who enjoy fishing off Ocean City.
* * * Trial update While we’re on the subject of offshore fishing, a federal judge has approved an expedited start date for the trial in the lawsuit involving an alleged rules violation in the 2016 White Marlin Open.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Bennett had considered a scheduling order with a start date no earlier than Sept. 18, 2017 for the suit aimed at resolving a disputed rules violation of the winner of the white marlin category in the tournament and the distribution of $2.8 million in prize money. However, a start date for the trial has now been set for May 22, 2017, which will ensure that the suit will be resolved well before next year’s tournament.
A court document asserts that the catch time of the winning 76.5-pound white marlin was altered on the official catch report. According to the document, the report appears to show that an initial time of 8:15 a.m. was entered but then altered to 9:05 a.m. Per tournament rules, boats could not put lines in the water before 8:30 a.m. on each of the five official fishing days. *** Speckled trout in Florida I took a break from the tree stand this past week and headed to Florida for a few days to mingle with family and get in a little fishing with Sherman Baynard down in Port Charlotte.
We fished on Monday and the air temperatures were in the 80s. The wind was blowing at a steady clip, but that’s often good for fishing. With the tide low, our best luck came fishing along a bank of mangroves being pounded by a south southwest wind. We caught and mostly released speckled trout, ladyfish, snook, and Jack Crevalle. Word was redfish pickings were slim and we did not catch any.
The morning’s bite started out slow but picked up along with the wind. We caught a lot of speckled trout running shad tail lures over scattered deeper pockets where the fish liked to hang out.
White pelicans, egrets, herons, osprey, jumping mullet, and plenty of other wildlife also kept us entertained.
On Thursday, TV newscasters were telling viewers to bundle up since the highs were expected to be in the 60s. * * * Duck blind know-it-all The American white pelican can hold three gallons of water in its bill. Follow me on Twitter @csknauss / email me at email@example.com