Drone Footage Demonstrates the Price of Gill Net Fishing on the East End

Hamptons ocean lifeguard and fisherman Tim Regan is coming up on the two-year anniversary of South Fork Salt, his YouTube name and video series, which started in February of 2018. This episode from November of 2019 put a sharp focus on the wasteful practice of gill net fishing, or gillnetting, after Regan used his drone to catch a boat removing and throwing away far too many dead dogfish from their catch.

He wrote, “For the entire fall of 2019, I’ve been plagued by reports of ‘hundreds of dead sharks left in piles on the beach.’ I myself noticed a devastating number of dogfish and skate carcasses strewn along my local shoreline. One day I saw a gill net boat perched offshore, surrounded by seagulls, so I decided to have a closer look.”

Regan’s “closer look” revealed what informed fishermen already know, but seeing the gill net fishermen in action makes it all the more real and difficult to accept. Numerous commenters shared their outrage below the South Fork Salt video:

Mikey DL wrote, “Recently this fall there was a gill net pulled from the waters near me in CT that was full of school striper carcasses.It was abandoned for longer than it should have been and resulted in the unnecessary killing of many bass. It was so bad that it smelled and was reported by a local resident.”

A more concise response, diesel’s_fishing wrote, “Man that was difficult to watch smh [shaking my head].”

LIFliesMike added, “Good thing there’s people like you to document this sort of stuff, people need to see the damage these nets do.”

A furious Peter Podder fumed, “This is disgusting. Are we turning into Japan ? I hope you show this to every agency that allows this to happen. Every restaurant that serves striped bass. Every fish market that makes a penny off this. Anyone that can participate in this ‘business’ to this degree, is a greedy criminal in my eyes. It makes me sick quite honestly. I am not a vegan either. I believe in the food chain from top to bottom, but the waste that this type of harvesting creates is unacceptable.”

Polythinker wrote, “As an avid fisherman I just cannot express my anger and sorrow for the fish and nature seeing this.”

And, perhaps summing it up for everyone, AllDayJKfishing wrote, “Ughh.”

It’s hard not to agree.

Follow Tim Regan on his South Fork Salt YouTube account and see more of his fishing videos here.

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