Apr 10 2012

PG&E tests bad for sea life and also for fishing industry

 

Written By Brian Stacy

FOR much of the 20th Century Southern California was a world leader in seafood production. The once-thriving tuna fishing fleet, based at the Port of Los Angeles and in San Diego, plied distant waters for months at a time returning to local canneries that employed thousands of people.

Today, the U.S. tuna industry is a distant memory, the victim of subsidized foreign competition, unfair trade practices, government over-regulation, and in some cases under-regulation.

Historically, California’s commercial fishing industry once employed tens of thousands of people in fishing, fish processing, boat building and boat repair and allied industries. Recreational fishing has been a staple of the coastal tourism. Both have been a vibrant part of the California coastal economy, from Eureka to the Mexican border.

I fish the waters of the central California coast. Those of us who remain, men and women who work at sea and harvest many of the types of fish we find in the supermarkets and in restaurants, have to be creative, nimble, and able to adapt to a sometimes harsh natural and political environment.

It is infuriating when yet another hurdle is erected making it nearly impossible for us to practice our trade. But this time it isn’t Mother Nature, imported farm-raised fish, or some government edict. This time it is a public utility – Pacific Gas & Electric, the energy behemoth whose aged gas lines exploded and ravaged the San Bruno community in 2010.

PG&E also owns the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, on the San Luis Obispo County coast. Diablo Canyon now threatens the central coast fishing industry, the local marine environment, and the livelihood of both commercial and recreational fishers.

Read the rest of the article on Los Angeles Daily News.

 

 

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