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Menhaden Fishing - Is it Right?

Photos taken 9-21-16

Two days ago, I was flying, and photographing the South Louisiana islands of Shell Island West and Chenier Ronquille, and Port Fourchon.   Islands on the coast of Louisiana that are being rebuilt from scratch.

Typically, I see one "Pogie boat".  This is a large commercial fishing vessel, accompanied by an airplane.  The airplane pilots are "fish spotters".  When they observe a school of fish, they direct the boat to it, and the boat then sends out smaller boats with a huge net.  The smaller boats encircle the area of the school of fish, and then they drag everything caught in the net up, and it is hauled onto the ship.   

I have to pay close attention to the 'fish spotters', because they fly in circles, around and around until they find what they are looking for.  That means in some places, I am photographing and simultaniously trying to keep my airplane (and myself!) away from the other airplane which is not looking out for me.  

Well this week, I came across five Menhaden ships and five airplanes all working a small area near the island of Chenier Ronquille. I was wondering how much they were scooping out of the sea, and how much dead by-product was created. It was a bit disturbing to me. (I'll post more photos on my Wings of Anglers facebook page.)

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