Letters to the Editor

Menhaden boats sweep the life from our sea

Thousands of dead menhaden float on the surface of the water south of Long Beach in 2009.
Thousands of dead menhaden float on the surface of the water south of Long Beach in 2009. amccoy@sunherald.com File

So many thanks and so much love to all of you for alerting our community to the horrors of the menhaden-pogy boats (“Why Omega Protein has stirred up a big stink about small fish,” Aug. 14, 1A). I have followed the work of the small but intense Sierra Club in its unending dedication to the health of our beautiful Mississippi Sound and the lives of our bluefish, Spanish and king mackerel, dolphin, pompano, cobia, redfish, flounder, trout, mullet, etc.

I could write paragraphs about the species of fish and mammals that are left to starve and leave for other waters when the huge nets of the menhaden boats sweep the life from our sea, our ocean. This is the life that feeds the other fish.

I have lived on the Coast off and on all my life and owned homes both here and on the Alabama coast. All my life I have been able to walk out to the water in the early morning and be greeted by groups of dolphin and allowed to swim with them. The dolphin are gone now. The last time I saw one was a dead dolphin out near a pogy boat on one of the barrier islands.

The inability to oversee their by-catch is a violation of every intelligent desire to protect our seas.

I thank you again for the wonderful journalistic job you did in bringing this problem to the public.

Ellen Gilchrist,

Ocean Springs

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