Are charter fishing boats bad for the environment?



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    Charter fishing boats are bad for the environment in some respects but also encourage more environmentally friendly fishing practices.  Charter fishing of course does take some catch and reduces fish populations to some extent. They also emit carbon dioxide and other pollutants just like any other boat that isn’t nuclear powered. Charter fishing, like all sport fishing, puts pressure on commercial fisheries to reduce their catch and leave some communities. An example of this is in Reedville, VA. There, the menhaden fishing industry, lead by the mega company Omega Protein, has decimated menhaden populations. This reduction in menhaden (a vital component to marine ecosystems being at a very low trophic level) has caused the striped bass to move from Reedville’s shores in order to find food. Since Reedville’s charter fishing industry’s target fish species is the striped bass, it helped put pressure on Omega Protein to reduce their menhaden catch.   

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