Rep. Bergman Contacts Gov. Whitmer On The Fishing Ban


WLUC – MARQUETTE, Mich. Congressman Jack Bergman expressed his concerns over the Great Lakes Fishing Decree of 2023 to Governor Gretchen Whitmer in a letter on Wednesday.

The Western District of Michigan U.S. District Court approved the decree last year, and it governs the management of the catch by state and tribal fisheries. Bergman’s primary worry is that the decree lacks precise wording or direction to stop overfishing between tribal and state institutions.

“I wholeheartedly recognize the importance of protecting Michigan Tribes’ access to commercial and subsistence fishing,” Bergman wrote in his letter. Still, the State of Michigan needs to address these legitimate worries and inquiries.

Bergman stated that his main concerns are gill net use, enforcement of overfishing laws, and communication between the state and the tribes. In his letter, he stated that although tribes are allowed to use gill nets, the state maintains that the nets produce an excessive amount of garbage. Bergman is also concerned about data-related communications between tribes and the state.

The concern we posed in the letter was, “What will the state do if a party consistently harvests above their agreed-upon limits?'” Bergman explained. “It relied on self-policing and nothing preventing or punishing overfishing.”

TV6 made contact with the Indian Community of Bay Mills. The tribe stated that they are unable to comment at this time due to ongoing legal proceedings about the decree.

Bergman advises anyone with questions or concerns to get in touch with their state senator.

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