Reading the Newsday article from March 5th on the lobster problem and the expert opinions on remedies to correct the same, gives me a case of bewilderment. The people who are the self appointed guardians of our saltwater resources labor under the delusion that the written word will cure the lobster problem.
No way will it. It was the written word that created the decline of the lobster population, when the harvesting of striped bass was restricted by law. These pundits know that the striped bass is the alpha predator of juvenile lobster and other marine fish. So what is their solution to their self-created problem? Why it is simple, put a one-year moratorium on taking lobster. Meanwhile, during the moratorium, the bass will continue to decimate juvenile lobster. Remember, lobster and stripers do not obey laws of man. They are governed by the laws of nature; big ones eat little ones.
If there were no problems with the environment, would there be a need for management? There would be no need for these committees, councils or any management.
Another solution along with the moratorium was to increase the size limit on lobster. What good will that do since the bass will still feed on juvenile lobster.
Here is an interesting scenario. A photographer took under water pictures of bass following a lobster boat and the lobster were filmed feeding on short lobster and discards and no one tried to stop them. Management cannot control the predation with the exception of limiting the lobster predators’ (man’s) income with a moratorium. Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of striped bass are feeding on juvenile lobster and other juvenile fish. I opened a legal bass and counted 1500 fluke fry in it. A south shore angler opened a thirty-inch bass that had 23 five-inch fluke in it. Gee mom, that’s where all our lobster and fluke are going. Gee mom, that is where all my tax money goes.
Cold Spring Harbor