This is what happens when, by design, the oversight board for an agency is structured to be captured out of the gate and people with an economic interest in specific outcomes allow their personal financial interests to trump the public interest:
CMR to allow limited oyster dredging season ~ Steve Phillips
Of course the people with the economic interest in specific outcomes were the same people who brought the public Billy Walker and his reign of thievery. That said there is one person on the CMR who is actually looking out for more than just himself:
Those same concerns were echoed by DMR scientists, as the CMR considered a limited dredging season this year.
“The areas where there’s a high recruitment and a good spat set, I think we need to look at limiting those,” said the DMR’s chief scientific officer, Dr. Kelly Lucas.
Commissioner Ernie Zimmerman said he couldn’t go against that recommendation.
“What scares me to death is letting these fishermen go make a dollar today and take two dollars out of their pocket next year,” said Commissioner Zimmerman.
And those that are only looking out for themselves:
With Commissioner Steve Bosarge absent, Commissioner Shelby Drummond and Chairman Richard Gollott voted to allow a limited dredging season.
“I think these fishermen can go out and make a living for a week or two. And I think it’s something we need to do, rather than letting the oysters just sit out there and die,” chairman Gollott explained.
Maybe the Charter Boat captains can get Chairman Gollott to explain to them why their seat at the table is empty right now.
The CMR, by the very way it is structured in the law, is designed to insure a dysfunctional state agency. We see it play out every time the commercial fishing interests overrule the scientific staff. We pay for it every time an oyster reef is overfished and tax money is spent hauling oysters from closed reefs to the overfished ones. Nowhere is the public interests being served here IMHO.
Here is the video report which aired earlier this week on WLOX: