Wildlife

Letter | Cormorant killings unconscionable

April 20, 2014 

I was shocked to see in the paper on April 5th that the Department of Natural Resources, with the pressure of fishermen on Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, authorized and encouraged the slaughter by hunters of 11,653 beautiful and resourceful birds called cormorants. One hunter reported killing 278 himself.

The logic of this genocide of defenseless beings was that their numbers were too great and they were eating too many fish. Of course this sick logic ignores the fact that it is not the birds that are too numerous and eating too many fish, it is all of us.

With our insane rise in population (growing from 1 billion in 1900, which took 200,000 years to achieve, to 7 billion in 2000 (taking just 100 years to achieve), we are eating up the fish and polluting the waters at a tragic rate. Some estimate we will have eliminated all marine life in the next 50 years.

We are to blame for the drop in fishing not the cormorants. They have just been made the scapegoats. Our responsibility in this has been recognized with laws restricting fishing (that are constantly being fought by commercial fishermen), but no one is addressing our overpopulation and our lethal pollution.

The DNR and all the fishermen and hunters involved in this sickening mass slaughter are a testament to the fact that our species is in terrible trouble. This was not hunting; this was murder. It was disgusting and unconscionable.

The writer lives in Murrells Inlet.

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