Fishing News, Tips and Techniques

Mothball Fleet Slowly Being Dismantled, Will Fish Go Too?

Three more ships from the Mothball Fleet are being removed for dismantling. Officially part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet, these ships were intended for emergency use in cases of war and crisis. However, time and nature have taken its toll on the ships and they have become a source of controversy for its effects on the environment.

A 2007 study by the U.S. Maritime Administration suggested that the ships could be leaking toxins into the waters including zinc, lead and copper. However, a more recent study in 2009 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggested that the toxin levels around the fleet were no higher than anywhere else in the Bay Area.

For Bay Area fisherman, the Mothball Fleet is a landmark for great sturgeon and striped bass fishing. Located in Suisun Bay, it is where the saltier waters of San Francisco Bay and freshwater of the Delta meet. This confluence brings a wide variety and abundance of marine life to the area. The ships in the fleet add to this by providing structure for the fish to congregate.

As the ships in the fleet begin to be removed, it’s effects on fishing remain to be seen.

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