Gillnetters deserve

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 5, 2007

more buyout

To the editor:

If Rep. Ison’s and the CCA’s calculations are “forthright and correct” in their claims that Alabama’s Gulf Coast sportfishing generated revenues would skyrocket by hundreds of millions of dollars annually, with the proposed implementation of their gillnet buy-out plan; a substantially more generous and enticing incentive should be placed on the bargaining table!

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After all, not only are the gillnetters’ livelihoods at stake, but a generation-to-generation heritage as well.

One million dollars each is quite a reasonable sum for each gillnetter’s gillnetting apparatus, along with a signed legally binding agreement prohibiting them from any future gillnetting operations in Alabama state waters!

And, since Alabama’s recreational fishermen are assumed to be the primary beneficiaries of this proposal, “They alone,” (not the state’s citizens), should foot the entire bill to achieve this objective.

This could easily be accomplished by the Alabama Department of Marine Resources raising the annual cost of individual recreational licenses by perhaps $5 to $10 each, and $500 apiece for charter and/or guide licenses for a period of years; not to exceed what is necessary to reimburse the state in full.

This may seem an extreme amount to some, but what is $105 million for “one year” compared to the hundreds of millions every year “forever?”

Neither Rep. Isons or the CCA can argue or deny the practicality or soundness of such a lucrative investment. After all, nothing says I’m sorry like an out-of-court settlement, and you can bank on that.

Arthur Coleman