One day a few years ago I stood on the edge of a jetty “down the islands” with my cousin.
We had practically grown up there, coming to swim, lime and fish since early childhood, and could remember the buckets of fish we caught there on a monthly basis. But something was different this time. I looked down, then looked to him and asked, “Where are all the fish?” He looked back at me and said, “We fished them all out…”
When we were young, all we knew was that we were catching fish. We didn’t realise what the long- term repercussions of such a seemingly harmless activity would be. What happens when people are hunting wild and free during the hunting session and trawlers are killing more than just fish? You get (for once) a responsible response from the Government by putting a temporary ban and restrictions on hunting and trawling.
An issue that arises and that is being used as some sort of half-baked push against the ban, is the prevalence of poaching (illegal hunting). To those pushing this, I ask, since people drink and drive every day and get away, is it acceptable to just allow drunk driving and forget about charging people with the offence? We must look at every option that will improve the situation. I agree, though, that additional measures need to be put in place to stop poachers. More game wardens (deputised if needed), even stiffer fines, and a combination of manpower and technology to bring the offenders to justice.
Trawling and hunting restrictions are now being put into place in order to allow the environment to recover. Those who don’t see the bigger picture, outside of their fishing trips and wild meat limes, are up in arms…as are those who oppose them to prevent the impending destruction of our eco-system, marine and wildlife. Various species are in danger and something had to be done before they became endangered.
Trawling is regarded as the world’s most destructive fishing practice, presenting a threat to many reefs and smaller species of fish. It is time to put a stop to the underlying destruction before it is too late.
The morality of hunting and trawling is not the issue here. It is the overall effect that these activities are having on the environment.
Unless we can see outside of our own immediate pleasures of the present, we will doom ourselves for the future. I’m far from a bleeding heart environmentalist, and closer to a steak-for-every-meal conservative. So what makes me take this stance? The fact that if we don’t take measures to preserve what we have, and rebuild what we destroyed, we will have nothing in the future.
The world will thrive without us, but we will die without the world. We own land, but the Earth owns us.