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Letter: Unsettling to watch scallop dragger damage


Recently, while visiting our small cottage in Mount Carmel off Salmonier Arm, I noticed a small scallop dragger in the process of dragging for scallops.

I don’t know if any of your readers, while scarfing down these maritime delicacies, have ever had the opportunity to study the carnage done to the sea bed by this type of fishing, but I’m sure if they had, many conscientious diners would sign off from ordering them in restaurants.

Although seeing these small draggers on the Salmonier Arm before, I still couldn’t control my irritation while watching the boat continually dragging back and forth the Arm (20 -30 times, while watching), tearing everything up from the sea bottom.

It was very difficult to watch the boat-width, metal bar, with steel mesh nets attached, being constantly dragged over the sea bottom and regularly pulled up and emptied of all its marine detritus.

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I viewed great amounts of kelp being torn up and would presume crabs and other marine life were also sacrificed for the sake of obtaining these lucrative shellfish.

Finally, finishing the process of degrading the marine bed and probably making it uninhabitable for any future marine life for many years to come, the fishermen unceremoniously dumped all the shucked shells overboard and departed.

And we wonder why the fishery is always in turmoil with declining stocks?

There must be a better way.

Blair Withycombe

Mount Pearl

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