Prepare to be Rammed

The Sea Shepherd

Last weekend I went charter fishing for salmon with my family off the coast of Westport.  The captain wasn’t very impressed with my Sea Shepherd hat, especially when he read the line “prepare to ram.”  I caught one wild Coho and one undersized Chinook, both had to be let go.  I thought it was pretty cool that we have those hatchery fish out there and that the sport fisherman have to release the wild silvers to preserve their runs.  I don’t know if the captain understood that I don’t oppose all commercial or sport fishing but I do not condone the Japanese hunting of whales under the weak guise of “scientific research.”  As an Environmental Science major at the Huxley College of Environmental Science I don’t ever remember being taught to kill things to study them, and then sell their meat on the market.  I also am very opposed to factory trawlers that strip the ocean of all life they encounter with nets big enought to hold a jet.  The by-catch is wasteful and destructive to the ecosystem and to local fishing communities.  I could write pages on this, but I won’t because I’m not trying to get up on my soap box, I’m just saying I think he didn’t like me because of my hat. 

I also want to add that I will not buy or eat farmed Atlantic Salmon.  When I’ve travelled around the country I forget that probably 46 or 47 out of our 50 states don’t have wild salmon runs and don’t know much about salmon.  If I go to a restaurant that serves salmon, I usually ask them what kind of salmon it is.  Outside of the Pacific northwest I will usually get a confused “what do you mean?” response.  If they don’t know what kind of salmon it is, then I have to assume it is farmed Atlantic salmon and I won’t eat it.  In fact several times I’ve had the people I’m dining with ask about why I won’t eat it.  By the time I’m explaining how they dye the meat they have changed their order. 

It’s too bad I didn’t catch any keepers, but it’s not too surprising given the Stone family’s poor fishing history. I can’t remember a family fishing trip where we all caught fish. I was joking with my brother that when we go fishing we’re likely to catch a buzz rather than a fish. It was no surprise to me that my uncle & brother’s girlfriends caught two salmon each. My wife however, now a Stone, didn’t catch anything. I guess our family fishing curse is contagious. It’s a good thing that I don’t have to fish for my beer…

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