Samantha New York

Derelict Fishing Gear

Derelict Fishing Gear is hurting our ocean life.

October 13th, 2016

Dear Mr. or Madam President,

Crisis has hit in the deep waters, Endangered whales and other sea life have fallen prey to abandoned fishing gear and crab traps. This hurts our earth and could make populations of beautiful creatures extinct, even ones that we don’t even know about yet. Laws have been passed about this epidemic but nothing nationwide, only each individual state has their own rule about it. I believe that you should pass a nationwide law that prohibits fisherman from using gear that could potentially get lost without some sort of tracking device. According to a list on the Marine Debris Program’s website, this gear includes nets, fishing lines, crab or shrimp pots, and other recreational or commercial fishing equipment.

There needs to be some kind of law on this and I’m surprised there isn’t so far. According to a Northeast Public Radio report, “In late June an endangered blue whale wrapped in fishing gear was seen struggling off the coast of Dana Point in Southern California. Rescuers were unable to extricate it before it swam away.” Blue whales. One of the most majestic and beautiful animals in the sea, are being caught in the lost gear. This could become catastrophic for our sea life. The ocean is one of our major food sources, so it’s a bigger problem than you think. We all eat some sort of food that originates from the ocean, even if we don't mean to or know about it. Humans have destroyed the habitat of multiple animals just by building homes and demolishing forests, we shouldn't allow something like this to happen to creatures that don’t deserve it. They don’t hurt us without being provoked so why should we? They have lives, too, so why should we jeopardize theirs for our love to fish?

We shouldn’t. There is no possible reason to harm a harmless animal unless for food. What’s strange about this is that the fisherman are on board! They know what it’s doing to their terrain and what they love. Most are all for a law on lost derelict gear, some include the need to claim any gear that was lost that you own, and some states even allow fisherman who find lost gear to sell it back to the owner or just sell it in general.

As our President, please promote and support a law on requiring the retrieval of abandoned fishing gear so we don’t lose our beautiful wildlife. We shouldn’t lose more when we’re fighting so hard to protect it. It’s hard as it is, we should try to make it easier on the nation by putting a law in place that regulates this type of gear.



Gloversville High School

Gloversville High School

English 12

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