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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, April 21, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesGillnet and Trammel Net Fishing

Gillnet and Trammel Net Fishing

Dear Source:

My name is Emanuel Camacho. I am an 11th grade student at the St. Croix Educational Complex. I am currently taking an Environmental Science class. One of the major topics that we focused on was gillnet and trammel net fishing. The purpose of this letter is to inform the residents of St. Croix about the dangers of gillnet and trammel net fishing, and to persuade the fishermen to stop using gill and trammel nets if they are doing so.
Gill netting is a fishing method used by fishermen to easily capture specific types of fish. The fish has to be at least the same size of the net in order to be captured. However, the trammel nets indiscriminately captures all types of fish. These two methods of fishing is a huge threat to both the ocean life and the environment as a whole. They were already considered illegal by former governor Charles W. Turnbull in the Virgin Islands.
The use of gillnet and trammel net fishing should be monitored in the Virgin Islands, particularly St. Croix because the island sits on an isolated shelf in the Caribbean Sea. Unlike other Caribbean islands such as Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and St. John, the St. Croix fishery is not replenished by fish moving along an extended shelf from other nearby islands.
The way in which trammel nets are used makes it impossible to release unwanted fish alive, so they are killed and thrown away, resulting in waste of a precious and valuable resource. Gill nets are also known for capturing parrotfish, which is very important to our ocean life because the parrotfish eats the algae that can overgrow on the coral reefs. Gill Nets also damage the reef habitat because it breaks and pulls up coral and other coral reef plants and animals.
Gill and Trammel Net Fishing are destroying too many fishes, and soon there will be no more left for our children or the generation that is to follow after them. Not only is gillnetting and trammel net fishing harmful to the marine ecosystem, but it is also harmful for our economy here in St. Croix. Dive operators, sport fishermen, recreational divers and snorkelers have reported significant reduction in the number of reef fish to be seen in the shallow waters around St. Croix.
According to the World Resources Institute, the average diver spends about $2,100 per trip to the Caribbean, compared to $1,200 for tourists in general. The depletion of reef fish and damage to the corals due to gill netting will eventually have major negative impacts to the dive tourism industry.
As a resident of St. Croix, I strongly do not support the use of gill netting and trammel netting. I
also believe that its time to reinforce the ban made against the two, for if the use of the nets continues, there will be no more fish left on the island. It is already against the law, it is not traditional fishery, and it damages our reefs and our economy.

Emanuel Camacho
St. Croix

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