Misleading

The headline reads “L.A.’s Commercial Fishing Industry Struggles for Survival.”

Ryan Faughnder, senior news editor for neontommy.com and Annenberg Digital News, reports: “Port officials are now considering relocating them from one of their current homes on a strip of land called Terminal Island to a new base. Clearing out the fishermen would allow the port to make way for more berths, cranes and storage facilities that serve the massive container ships that call on the port.”

The article makes several points:

– Few young people become fishermen, that children of fishermen don’t want to follow their parents’ footsteps. Many small boats are family-run and operated, as is the St. Jude – and the children are proud of their parents. Young adults, from diverse educational backgrounds, are increasingly drawn to small agriculture and fishing operations and producing healthy, fresh and delicious food in sustainable ways.

– “The median yearly earnings for a fisherman are less than $28,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.” The notion that such a salary is problematic is amusing, especially coming from a journalist. Remember, fishing seasons are short and this is payment for a few months of the year. Check monster.com and the classifieds:  Many college graduates doing real work in their respective fields – whether it’s environmental science, teaching, marketing, and yes journalism – are thrilled to earn such a salary in their chosen industry.  Numerous college graduates are counted as members of the fleet.

– Tighter environmental regulations make it tough for fishermen. No one appreciates environmental regulations – protections of the resource – more than fishermen who operate small vessels do. Without those protections, the fishing industry and the ocean’s vast beauties won’t last.

The article caught our eyes because the F/V St Jude has docked at Terminal Island many times. And while it’s great that Faughnder reports on the proposed relocation and hearings,  the article is far too negative about fishing and its many opportunities. The fishing life and sea still lure many …

(Photo of suspension bridge connecting San Pedro and Terminal Island, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

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