Fishermen Oppose Delaware Water Quality Bill

June 17, 2004

The Delaware State Senate filed legislation last week designed to lead to vast improvements for Delaware's ocean, but sportsmen showed up to protest the bill, claiming it would deprive them of their ability to fish, the Delaware State News reported.

Senate Bill 329 would set up a task force comprised of lawmakers, environmental activists and fisherman to study issues facing Delaware waterways and make recommendations on how to improve them, reported the Delaware State News.

Environmentalists hailed the measure as a big step toward improving the waterways, but Bernard L. Pankowski, Delaware legislative chairman for the Recreational Fishin Alliance, opposed the bill because it could lead to large areas of the ocean being declared off limits to fishermen.

"We trust the judgment of scientists on fisheries management," Pankowski told the Delaware State News. "This takes it out of the scientists' hands and gives it to this committee that is lopsided against fishermen."

Charles Auman, a commercial fisherman from Slaughter Beach, said lawmakers should look at ways to improve the water quality, not regulate fishing. "Closing sections to fishing is not going to clean up the water," he said.

Source: Delaware State News

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