Blue Heron Bridge Fishing

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tarponchik

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I was not being facetious. Since I started diving BHB 26 years ago, I have always been careful of fisherman, because they have always been there. So maybe I take it for granted that I don't find it difficult to avoid them. I usually dive the west side, before I get in water I make a mental note of where the fisherman are positioned on the pier. The fishing pier on the west side is approximately 100 yards long, and there are nine sets of pilings, so if you are observant you know where they are in relation to the pilings. If you stay directly under the pier its not difficult to peak out and see their fishing lines in the water. A lot times the behavior of the fish is the give away. Its quite comical to see a dozen small fish strip the bait off a hook that is to big for their little mouths. If I do the east side, its the same thing, I look to see where the fisherman are before I get in the water, keep in mind I enter the eastside from the north not the south. I have had my dive flag line cross a fisherman's line many times at BHB. Maybe I have just been lucky but what generally happens in that instance is the fisherman reels in and the hook catches the line. Carefully I just pull the hook away from line and let it go. If you concentrate you can see the fishing lines, just the same way you might find tiny fish like Tiger Gobies by concentrating on what your looking at. I know boats are in the area, and I know damn well that a dive flag is not any guarantee of safety (I had an idiot on jet ski using my flag as a pylon, at another site). So I am always careful of boats, mostly by staying close to the bottom and knowing my relative position underwater from experience and navigation. Common sense says to me that a boat is far more dangerous than any fisherman with a hook. If you truly believe boats are less dangerous for divers than fisherman, be my guest, you do so at your own peril.
I did not say that I consider boats less dangerous; I said that I know how to avoid being run over by a boat and I do not know how to avoid being hooked. Your idea to look before you dive may work for quarter hour, but my last dive under E bridge lasted 2 hrs 15 min. A lot of things can change in 2 hrs. For one, I started my dive on a bright sunny afternoon and got out under a heavy rain.

I never go under the old bridge so as far as I am concerned this is a fair deal: I do not dive where they fish, they should not fish where so many divers (including myself) go.
 

Pipehorse

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I never go under the old bridge so as far as I am concerned this is a fair deal: I do not dive where they fish, they should not fish where so many divers (including myself) go.
That's just it though, there is no prohibition from diving on the west side under the pier, and there is no prohibition from fishing on the east side. Regardless of "should or should not". The fisherman have every right to use the east span if they so choose, regardless of the diving activity of you or anybody else. So dive there at your own risk and do not complain about fisherman.
 

tarponchik

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That's just it though, there is no prohibition from diving on the west side under the pier, and there is no prohibition from fishing on the east side. Regardless of "should or should not". The fisherman have every right to use the east span if they so choose, regardless of the diving activity of you or anybody else. So dive there at your own risk and do not complain about fisherman.
I do not complain. What I'm saying it would be beneficial for everyone if fishermen's and scuba divers' activities are divided into separate areas. I'd already explained to you why your symmetrical argument about the boats does not work here so I am surprised you keep parroting my words. "Rights" are also irrelevant here. Your rights end quite often when they jeopardize someone's (or even your own) safety. Have you ever seen a highway bridge with a sign "no fishing from the bridge"? So there'll be one more, big deal.
 

Pipehorse

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. "Rights" are also irrelevant here. Your rights end quite often when they jeopardize someone's (or even your own) safety. Have you ever seen a highway bridge with a sign "no fishing from the bridge"? So there'll be one more, big deal.
Wow, I can't believe you actually wrote that, I am pretty sure Riviera Beach is still part of the United States, so you are absolutely 100% wrong, rights are never irrelevant in the United States. I would love to see you say that at a Riviera Beach City Council meeting. Tell them the rights of their constituents are irrelevant here, and that a bridge their constituents have been using for fishing for decades doesn't matter because a bunch of divers that are not their constituents want to dive there. Sound to me like you are saying that your rights to dive there and hypocrite Abernathy's rights to park a boat there supersede the fisherman's rights, shame on you, and him.

The problem with lobbying to prohibit fisherman from using an area is that it just might have unintended consequences. Authorities that be just might decide that you and everybody that dives there is interfering with the fisherman and ban the divers from using it instead. But of course this is a mute argument, luckily the powers that be don't agree with your twisted version of rights, fishing is still allowed there, and it is likely to remain that way. So I guess you should figure a strategy for avoiding fisherman as well as boats. BTW, fisherman vs. boats with regard to the danger presented to scuba divers is very much asymmetrical. Boats pose an exponentially greater threat to divers than fisherman.
 

tekkydiver

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Wow, I can't believe you actually wrote that, I am pretty sure Riviera Beach is still part of the United States, so you are absolutely 100% wrong, rights are never irrelevant in the United States. I would love to see you say that at a Riviera Beach City Council meeting. Tell them the rights of their constituents are irrelevant here, and that a bridge their constituents have been using for fishing for decades doesn't matter because a bunch of divers that are not their constituents want to dive there. Sound to me like you are saying that your rights to dive there and hypocrite Abernathy's rights to park a boat there supersede the fisherman's rights, shame on you, and him.

The problem with lobbying to prohibit fisherman from using an area is that it just might have unintended consequences. Authorities that be just might decide that you and everybody that dives there is interfering with the fisherman and ban the divers from using it instead. But of course this is a mute argument, luckily the powers that be don't agree with your twisted version of rights, fishing is still allowed there, and it is likely to remain that way. So I guess you should figure a strategy for avoiding fisherman as well as boats. BTW, fisherman vs. boats with regard to the danger presented to scuba divers is very much asymmetrical. Boats pose an exponentially greater threat to divers than fisherman.
Also remember the fisherman pay for a license. In part, that money goes to the support the FWC. The officers know this and will side with a fisherman over a diver.....anytime
 

tarponchik

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Wow, I can't believe you actually wrote that, I am pretty sure Riviera Beach is still part of the United States, so you are absolutely 100% wrong, rights are never irrelevant in the United States. I would love to see you say that at a Riviera Beach City Council meeting. Tell them the rights of their constituents are irrelevant here, and that a bridge their constituents have been using for fishing for decades doesn't matter because a bunch of divers that are not their constituents want to dive there. Sound to me like you are saying that your rights to dive there and hypocrite Abernathy's rights to park a boat there supersede the fisherman's rights, shame on you, and him.

The problem with lobbying to prohibit fisherman from using an area is that it just might have unintended consequences. Authorities that be just might decide that you and everybody that dives there is interfering with the fisherman and ban the divers from using it instead. But of course this is a mute argument, luckily the powers that be don't agree with your twisted version of rights, fishing is still allowed there, and it is likely to remain that way. So I guess you should figure a strategy for avoiding fisherman as well as boats. BTW, fisherman vs. boats with regard to the danger presented to scuba divers is very much asymmetrical. Boats pose an exponentially greater threat to divers than fisherman.
I'll quote for you from Florida Statutes 316.1305 – Fishing from state road bridges:

(1) The Department of Transportation is authorized to investigate and determine whether it is detrimental to traffic safety or dangerous to human life for any person to fish from a state road bridge. When the Department of Transportation, after due investigation, determines that it is dangerous for persons to fish from such a bridge, it shall post appropriate signs on the bridge stating that fishing from the bridge is prohibited.

Do you see here any mentioning of human rights here? I do not. This is all about safety.
 

Pipehorse

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I don't see any explicit mention of human rights, although I would argue that safety is implicitly about human rights since being safe is a human right. But just so we have our definitions correct, I believe that fishing and diving would probably be civil rights (in fairness, fishing could be a human right as well since it could be about sustenance, diving not so much). This statute then, is an attempt at weighing one group's civil rights against another groups civil rights. The department of transportation put up "no fishing" signs on the east span bridge. Shortly thereafter they were removed. So it must have determined that it is was safe for fisherman to fish from the bridge, and that the fisherman's civil rights and human rights were greater or equal to your civil rights to dive; this as opposed to your interpretation that the fisherman rights (civil and human) are irrelevant. Guess your just going to have to figure out a way to deal with the fisherman. Thanks for providing a copy of the statute, as well as food for thought on the rights of fishing vs. diving.
 

tarponchik

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I don't see any explicit mention of human rights, although I would argue that safety is implicitly about human rights since being safe is a human right. But just so we have our definitions correct, I believe that fishing and diving would probably be civil rights (in fairness, fishing could be a human right as well since it could be about sustenance, diving not so much). This statute then, is an attempt at weighing one group's civil rights against another groups civil rights. The department of transportation put up "no fishing" signs on the east span bridge. Shortly thereafter they were removed. So it must have determined that it is was safe for fisherman to fish from the bridge, and that the fisherman's civil rights and human rights were greater or equal to your civil rights to dive; this as opposed to your interpretation that the fisherman rights (civil and human) are irrelevant. Guess your just going to have to figure out a way to deal with the fisherman. Thanks for providing a copy of the statute, as well as food for thought on the rights of fishing vs. diving.
Do you know for sure who had removed the signs?
 

Pipehorse

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Do you know for sure who had removed the signs?
Good question. From reading the other thread, FDOT put them up, a Riviera City Beach Council Person intervened, and FDOT took them back down. Seems like quite a bit of investigating in such a short amount of time. Guess it was easy to decide fisherman's rights were on second thought, relevant.
 

tekkydiver

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Good question. From reading the other thread, FDOT put them up, a Riviera City Beach Council Person intervened, and FDOT took them back down. Seems like quite a bit of investigating in such a short amount of time. Guess it was easy to decide fisherman's rights were on second thought, relevant.
Fishermen have the law behind them
 
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