"The American fisherman is not the bad guy."
I don’t often interview people but when I do, it’s… better than what I normally do. Random hot takes on beach-adjacent lifestyles, books about radical Islamic terrorism and bank robbery, snowboarding etc.
But you have, by now, certainly been made aware of our World Surf League’s most recent virtue signal 30 x 30.
A push to get professional surf fans to sign the 30 x 30 petition in support of AB3030 which pledges to fully protect 30% of the oceans, worldwide.
Certainly, theoretically, but ill-considered?
Let’s do what the WSL didn’t and talk to a 4th generation commercial fisherman and vibrant personality Tommy Gomes.
The San Diego native has long been fixture in the seafood scene, from education to advocating sustainability to running a non-profit culinary program. He knows his fish, and his fishing, so what does he think about the World Surf League’s new advocacy?
Chas Smith: So what is this AB3030 business all about?
Tommy Gomes: Bait and switch, change country of origin and all that. Bring in more unregulated, unreported seafood by the Chinese and Taiwanese. If you go on vessel locater there is 127 Chinese boats less that 1000 miles from San Diego. To shut locals out is just ridiculous. Just another ploy to get money and funding and keep these environmental organizations going, keep them going but what they’re doing is crushing the last bit of the left coast commercial fishing operations. More imported, unregulated fish that’s chemically enhanced, that’s all 30 x 30 will do. The American fisherman is not the bad guy. Those paying for this sort of thing is ConAg and Monsanto or fish farming operations or wind farming conglomerates.
The money funding this 30×30 thing is coming from somewhere.
But this World Surfing League? Where the fuck they come from? I took Gerry Lopez out fishing off the Cortez Bank, I never heard of no fucking World Surf League. I’m a 4th generation commercial fisherman. This seems like just another tactic to shut down fishing and it doesn’t make any sense. We’re all watermen. No fisherman out there wants to kill the last anything. We all want to conserve, be sustainable. We’re doing everything we can. Now all of a sudden here comes this World Surf League who is probably getting money from… somewhere.
Chas Smith: Dirk Ziff. He’s a co-Waterperson of the Year.
Tommy Gomes: (Silence)
But there we have it and, seriously, how stunningly embarrassing is the ELo era?