Proposed gillnetting ban pits fishermen against conservationists

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Conservation groups are banding together with wealthy sport fishermen on a proposed ban on gillnetting.

Only about 200 gillnetters still work in Oregon, sending fish to local canneries and the white china of Portland’s best restaurants. Their take represents a tiny slice of the fish killed every year by sport fishermen, sea lions and the Columbia River dams.

“Anything and everything that swims into them are ensnarled,” says David Schamp, director of the 10,000-member Coastal Conservation Association of Oregon, one of the groups supporting the ban. “We believe a high percentage of whatever is captured perishes—and we don’t believe that’s a good thing.”

Proponents have so far offered little in the way of quantifiable evidence to make their case, and they’ve been unable for years to persuade lawmakers to ban gillnetting.

Read more at Willamette Week.

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