I come from two families of fishermen on Cape Cod. My father's family were strictly of the rod-and-reel type: Stand on the shore and cast into the water, catching the occasional striped bass or bluefish or small-mouth bass or trout. My mother's family were commercial fishermen: Drive a boat 30 miles offshore and cast massive nets into the water, scooping up hundreds or thousands of fish in the course of a day. As I grew older, I came to see commercial fishing more and more as a raping of the oceans. A new documentary called The End of the Line will be talking about that starting next week, and I am looking forward to seeing it.
Fishermen on Cape Cod made great livings in the 1980s. I remember the family celebrating huge catches, and those celebrations were weekly. I also remember my family whining about government regulation and pointing their fingers at draggers (instead of casting floating nets that ensnare dolphins and whales, they drag heavy nets along the bottom) when the size of their catches dwindled. I distinctly remember my grandfather telling me, "The more cod you catch, the more there are." His theory was that adult male codfish eat baby codfish; So if you catch more adults, more babies will live. "These scientists don't know anything," he'd tell me. "All you have to do is look at the stomach of a cod to know it's true." I know, it is crazy logic, but it was men like my grandfather who were driving the fishing industry on the side of the fishermen and it is logic like that that drives the raping of the oceans today.
Luckily, the U.S. government did put in regulations on fishing and bought boats from fishermen (including my grandfather) to get them off the water. They continue to limit the amount fishermen can bring in, though unfortunately the fishermen continue to catch and kill huge numbers of fish and throw them overboard before they get to harbor (at least, that's what my grandfather tells me). These aren't bad men, they're just trying to make a living for their families and some of them simply don't have the resources to figure out how to do that without the needless killing of fish.
Hopefully efforts like this film will educate the public, who can push back at the fishermen and get them to change their practices.