Jes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.
Friday, 09 January 2009
Near Jacksonville, Fla., the village of Mayport is twisting between the tides of commercial development and waterfront traditions.
On the one hand, you have a historic fishing village that was first explored by Westerners in 1562.
On the other, you have the Jacksonville Port Authority eager to replace wooden docks with a $60 million cruise ship terminal.
Where they will get that money remains to be determined. Though even in a tight credit market, this may still be an attractive deal to lenders.
But it is undoubtedly unappealing to local fishermen and residents, many of whom have joined the forces of Save Mayport Village.
Among the ideas they have opposed is moving the village to an island in the St. Johns River.
I don't object to the cruise industry on principle. I recognize that it's a resilient revenue maker for many coastal towns (my own included). However, I think the long and rich history of commercial fishing in Mayport ought to speak for itself.
I can almost hear Joni Mitchell singing, "They paved history, and put up a cruise ship slip."
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