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Overfishing Danger

November 08, 1994

Forgive me if I don't join in the celebration regarding Ventura Harbor's renovation that has attracted 17 more long-liners from Florida and Louisiana ("New Jobs Seen With Renovation of Ventura Harbor," Oct. 15).

Ventura Harbor desperately needs something to pull them out of their financial woes, but to welcome these long-line fishing boats here with open arms is very short-sighted. They will, no doubt, help the Port District financially in the short run. They will also deplete our offshore fisheries in a few short years as they have done on the East and Gulf coasts.

The long-liners' depletion of these coasts is well documented. For example, a once healthy swordfish population, where the average fish was 200 pounds, was soon diminished to an average of only 40 pounds. You don't have to be a marine biologist to figure out that a 40-pound swordfish is unable to reproduce.

The long-liners are not here to create jobs or help out our struggling Port District. They are here only because they have decimated their previous fishing grounds, and our abundant offshore waters are their next stop.

A prudent man will learn by the mistakes of others, and not repeat them. Richard Parsons (port district general manager) and the Ventura Port District have chosen to ignore the mistakes made on the other coasts and have sold us out to people who will soon put an end to our healthy offshore fishery.

The establishment of a commercial long-line fleet here will very likely put the final nails in the coffins of many of our struggling local commercial fishermen.

CHARLES FARRELL

Ventura

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