Many of those following this blog are probably not old enough to remember when huge trawlers from all over the world were dragging waters as close as 12 miles from our shores and destroying previously abundant stocks of cod, haddock, ling, whiting, mackerel and herring. To top it off, most of the damage was being done by the Soviet Union and their Iron Curtain allies while Americans were building bomb shelters to protect themselves against a likely attack from them. Yet, our State and Defense Departments were opposed to extending fisheries jurisdictions even as many small countrys were doing so. It seemed to be a hopeless situation, but when anglers and sportfishing skippers formed the Emergency Committe to Save America’s Marine Resources there was some hope as a massive letter writing to congressmen campaign resulted in inroduction of 200-mile legislation by Rep. Norman Lent (R-NY) and a rush of co-sponsers to the bill that started 200 mile interest in Congress.
All of this was brought to mind when I came upon a news release from a July 1977issue of the Fisherman magazine . It stated :”When the Emergency Committee to Save America’s Marine Resoures was formed four years ago there was much skepticism agout the possibility of enacting 200 mile fisheries legislation even among supporters of the cause. Yet, the Senate’s action in passing S 961 last week cleared the way for a 200 mile limit no later than July 1, 1977. In view of the intense lobbying effort directed against this legislation by both State and Defense Departments plus the wealthy high seas tuna and shrmp industries, it’s a miracle that the relatively unrganized fishermen and conservationists were able to achieve this vistory. Emergency Committee Chairman Allan J, Ristori noted “While it’s gratifying to taste success after years of effort, it is even more satisfying to know that the triumph belongs to the concerned citizens who took the time to write their congressmen. Big money and vested interests can carry the day when the citizintry can be lulled into thinking that they, as individuals, have no clout. However, the 200 mile fisheries jurisdiction battle proved the value of citizen participation in the political process.”
Bluefish jigging has been the most dependable inshore action lately. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported decent fishing today as anglers who worked at it were able to limit out. Ocean fluking is also looking better. The Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands got off to a poor start with wind against tide and no drift, but as conditions improved so did the fishing as many fares managed two or three kepers up to the 5.6-pound pool winner — and Capt. Ron Santee was able to catch five of legal size himself.
Small craft warnings are going up at 6 p.m., though the forecast isn’t that bad as northeast winds in the morning are only predicted to be at 10-15 knots. Showers are possible.