Fishermen blame oil spill for decline in fish-catch, WCTV, February 16, 2011:
Some local fishermen say they're seeing a significant decline in the amount of fish they catch. They say their way of living has changed and they blame the BP oil spill. ...
[Larry Ritchie], who fishes out of St. Marks, says, "Usually I would average about 300, 400 or 500 pounds... But catching three fish my last trip? That’s way down."
Many boats are practically just lined up on the shore now.... fisherman say that’s because they can't afford to go out on trips and come back with nothing.
Commercial fisherman Jerry Luke says, "I've caught more crabs last year in one day than I've caught this whole season, so that goes to tell you that something’s wrong."
Jack Rudloe, a marine biologist in Panacea, says weather could be another issue, but it doesn’t explain the drop off he’s seeing this year. "It's been a very cold year, but we've had cold years before... But if we go out there now, drop a net, we're not going to catch many fish at all."