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Ban Gillnets Now

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Dear Source:
Thank you Commissioner Mathes! I applaud your decision, one that is certainly consistent with the mandate of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources…to protect, maintain and manage the natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations.
I am also pleased that Dr. Olsen resigned. In the March 18 Source article Dr. Olsen was quoted as describing some members of the Fishery Advisory Committee as "continental enviros and dive tour". Dr. Olsen, gill netting is not an "Us — them" issue, it is an issue of protecting our valuable resources. Your job was to safeguard our fish and wildlife resources not protect the livihood of a few. You have failed to do this. We cannot continue allow a few to destroy our fisheries. Dr. Olsen was quoted as saying that the problem would solve itself in five years because "gillnet fishermen are getting older". Isn't everyone? The fishers who take the most with gill nets are in their 30s. Our reefs cannot support this gear type. The fishers and the restaurants did fine before hurricane Hugo when fishing did not include using gill nets. The gill nets need to be banned immediately.

Marcia G. Taylor
St. Croix

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