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Old 06-07-2012, 07:23 AM   #21
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I don't know if it's a law, but in TX there is a program trying to get people NOT to throw their waste from the fish cleaning stations in the water. They say it's harmful, and to throw it in the garbage. So what about all the poor, starving crabs?

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Old 06-07-2012, 09:33 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Who makes these laws?
That would be the governments of the 150 countries party to the agreement: MARPOL 73/78 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Enforcement, of course, can be a significant problem.

I am no expert, but I would think that chumming would be an obvious exception. As for the folks who throw fish / crab bits into the water from the dock, that's not from a vessel - and I'd be way more afraid of the local DFW - the fishing regulations in the Washington State are a huge annual "pamphlet" (136 pages, 19mb PDF) that even includes changes continuously posted on a web site.

If an incident did arise, don't you think you'd be better off starting from a position of compliance (having a posted waste management plan and knowing the law) rather than ignorance?

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Old 06-07-2012, 12:22 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Again, what about "chum"? What's the difference if it's your leftovers from dinner or fish you bought for bait? What about leftover bait? Everyone I know throws it into the water.

Every marina I have been to that has a fish cleaning station (mine has one), the fish scraps, heads, etc., are simply tossed in the water. One I was at recently had signs directing fishermen to dump their discards at the end of the pier.

These laws make criminals out of a lot of people.
A former governor of Washington State who was also a prior head of the Atomic Energy Commission wrote a book titled "Environmental Overkill." One of her messages was that the zealotry of environmentalists was producing laws that made no sense, and as a result was producing laws that would be ignored or achieve the opposite result to what they wanted. One example was a ban on pleasure boats flushing their toilets into Puget Sound. Noting that point pollution sources - like raw sewage discharges from municipalities was a disaster that had to be fixed - non point discharges like flushing a toilet while underway were actually beneficial. The reason is that she said that Puget Sound is actually nitrogen deficit, and the best thing that could happen would be for more boaters to make their little contribution to a thriving eco system by discharging directly into the Sound.

You also see this in the oceans. I heard a lecture on a paper recently published that argued that one of the best things we could do to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere was to ban whaling, since whale poop is a major source of nutrients, especially phosphorous, on which Krill depend, and Krill apparently convert a lot of CO2. Presumably flushing the sewage system of a cruise liner might also be beneficial offshore, but the practice would give most environmentalists the hives.

Until recently, the city of Victoria, B.C. discharged all their sewage directly into the strait of Juan de Fuca near Race Rocks. Because of tidal movement, and the depth of the water this location was considered to be the world's best natural sewage treatment plant, and the Salmon certainly didn't seem to mind since this area was also one of the best fishing grounds on the lower Island. I believe Victoria ceased this practice not because of scientific concerns, but because they were tired of the bad press.

I certainly wouldn't dump carrots peelings over the side in the shallow waters of the Chesapeake, even though the crabs would probably appreciate it. But worrying about the effect of a ham bone dropped into the Strait of Georgia is about as brainless as worrying about all that rotting seaweed on the shoreline.

p.s. I always instantly remove the "Do not remove under penalty of law" tags on mattresses.
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:07 PM   #24
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Obviously, we don't want the QE II dumping garbage or emptying holding tanks in the local harbors, but they have written the laws to apply equally to all boats. Fish parts may be chum to one person, but they are garbage to another.

Many of the boaters I know routinely empty their holding tanks into the water closer than three miles from shore. Considering all the fish and marine animals already pooping in the water, what's a little more from humans?

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