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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
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A Terrible Impact on the Islands

Dear Source:
I am an Environmental Science student at the St. Croix Educational Complex High School. This class made me very aware of the many issues that are currently affecting our world, especially our home here in the Virgin Islands. Before this class, I never really paid much attention to how fisherman got their fish. Through it, I have learned that there are numerous methods by which they fish and also that not all of their techniques of fishing are environmentally friendly. The fishing method that I found most detrimental to our island is Gillnet fishing.
While doing research on the Internet, gillnet fishing is described as a common fishing method used by commercial fishermen of all oceans and in some freshwater and estuary areas. Despite this definition, gillnet fishing is not as common as it may seem. This method of fishing, which is banned in numerous countries, is practiced in only a few places today. Unfortunately, our island of St. Croix is home to a few gillnet fishers. I believe that if they really realized the negative impact the use of gillnets is having on the island, they would reconsider their method of fishing. I believe that the discontinued use of gillnets would help to lessen the destructive impact on our island's marine ecosystem.
These gillnets trap many different types of marine life. Although they do catch fish that are profitable for the fishermen, many often wonder what happens to the excess marine life that may have been caught in these nets. This excess, also known as by catch, is often discarded because it is not needed. This is killing our marine life and also preventing many fish from reproducing. Gillnet fishing is also a contributing factor in the destruction of coral reefs, which are a very important to the fish. This also has an impact on tourism because if the coral reefs are being destroyed and fish are dying out, then what would snorkeling tourists have to look at? Also, the fact that even people can be caught in these gillnets may detour many tourists from even considering snorkeling in our waters.
All in all, gillnet fishing has a terrible impact on our island. I believe that the gillnet ban should be enforced better to prevent any further destruction to our marine ecosystem. Even though many organizations support the ban of gillnets, I believe it is up to the people in the community to realize the impact and speak out against this issue.
Deondra Ebbesen
St. Croix

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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Dear Source:
I am an Environmental Science student at the St. Croix Educational Complex High School. This class made me very aware of the many issues that are currently affecting our world, especially our home here in the Virgin Islands. Before this class, I never really paid much attention to how fisherman got their fish. Through it, I have learned that there are numerous methods by which they fish and also that not all of their techniques of fishing are environmentally friendly. The fishing method that I found most detrimental to our island is Gillnet fishing.
While doing research on the Internet, gillnet fishing is described as a common fishing method used by commercial fishermen of all oceans and in some freshwater and estuary areas. Despite this definition, gillnet fishing is not as common as it may seem. This method of fishing, which is banned in numerous countries, is practiced in only a few places today. Unfortunately, our island of St. Croix is home to a few gillnet fishers. I believe that if they really realized the negative impact the use of gillnets is having on the island, they would reconsider their method of fishing. I believe that the discontinued use of gillnets would help to lessen the destructive impact on our island's marine ecosystem.
These gillnets trap many different types of marine life. Although they do catch fish that are profitable for the fishermen, many often wonder what happens to the excess marine life that may have been caught in these nets. This excess, also known as by catch, is often discarded because it is not needed. This is killing our marine life and also preventing many fish from reproducing. Gillnet fishing is also a contributing factor in the destruction of coral reefs, which are a very important to the fish. This also has an impact on tourism because if the coral reefs are being destroyed and fish are dying out, then what would snorkeling tourists have to look at? Also, the fact that even people can be caught in these gillnets may detour many tourists from even considering snorkeling in our waters.
All in all, gillnet fishing has a terrible impact on our island. I believe that the gillnet ban should be enforced better to prevent any further destruction to our marine ecosystem. Even though many organizations support the ban of gillnets, I believe it is up to the people in the community to realize the impact and speak out against this issue.
Deondra Ebbesen
St. Croix

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.