Jes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.
Written by Adrianne Madden
Friday, 05 December 2008
I went to see the movie "Flow" this week. While I don't think the film's makers will be up for any Oscar nods, the overall point was pretty clear. That is, water resources are being bought and bottled up by international corporations, and at least in this country, there's no legislation to regulate it.
Fishermen have been grappling with water pollution, surface runoff and water access for generations now. This is not the time to get complacent.
As bottling plants continue to fight for access to the water flowing under the land they own (the use of which is both unprecedented and as yet unregulated in this country), court rulings and inevitable legislative measures may have an effect on fishermen's rights down the line.
On top of that, the chemicals used to make all those plastic bottles are very likely to find their way to the ocean and the creatures that live in it.
One thing you can do is pause to think before buying your next bottle of water (keeping in mind that tap water has far stricter standards than bottled water).
Fishermen all over this country are fighting for their water rights by opposing aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico, drilling in Bristol Bay, mining at Pebble and pollution in the Chesapeake, just to name a few high-profile cases. But this is just the beginning.
Water is a public resource, so what happens when corporations decide it is a commodity they can bottle and sell back to the communities from which it came?
Legislators from Connecticut and Massachusetts complained about the current “out-of-date allocation formula” in black sea bass, summer flounder and scup fisheries in a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce earlier this week.Read more...
The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.