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Opposing sides in catch-release debate differ on meaning of 'fishing'

Posted: Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Dr. Estalilla and others advocating catch-and-release and I all care about conserving Kenai kings because we all want our children and grandchildren to be able to fish for Kenai kings. We differ, however, about what "fishing" means.

In the Alaska tradition, "fishing" means exactly what it meant to the Native people before us: "to catch, to kill, to eat."

Catch-and-release, on the other hand, is a kind of "fishing" that derives its pleasure from forcing a fish to violently fight for its life, releasing it to repeat the process, killing some of the fish in the process.

I don't want to see Alaska's fisheries regulated and promoted in ways slot limits, catch-and-release, release a hawg programs, etc. that promote that kind of "fishing." I'd rather see Alaska's fisheries regulated in terms of methods, means and access in order to achieve conservation goals.

John Nelson

Soldotna



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