Yesterday, August Felando and Harold Medina made a presentation of their book, THE TUNA / PORPOISE CONTROVERSY – How Tuna Fishermen Were Caught in the Government’s Net and Fought to Survive, at the Portuguese Historical Center in San Diego. Self published by the two authors, it was a truly memorable afternoon.
Their expertise is well exemplified by the synopsis they presented. Harold’s and Augie’s experiences are unique to the two men, yet representative of an industry that renovated itself to survive, with innovations that were based on experience.
Harold Medina’s description of his lifelong passion, tuna fishing, began at age eight. His stories are captivating exemplifying the progression of a pre-teen young man to one of the most respected tuna captain / owner in the fleet, culminating with the invention of the Medina Panel to help porpoise survive when caught in the tuna fishermen’s net.
August Felando’s experiences are just as rich, showing his early days as a fisherman to his progression to a maritime attorney and defender of all rights of the tuna industry.
His accounting of the details of an industry trying to be understood by a government influenced by the political expediencies of the day, are detailed and forthcoming in making the layman understand the steps that were taken, the defenses made and the reasons for the demised of an industry whose methods were misunderstood by many.
It is recommended reading for those who want to be informed. It sheds truth and understanding on the many lies that were perpetrated, and makes one understand that the tuna fishermen were the first to support sustained fishing, for it was their livelihood!
I could have spent hours listening to both men. Even though I never fished, I have great affection for these men, their courage, tenacity, vision and resolve.
It was gratifying to see the number of retired tuna captains and family members attended the event.
As an ex-tuna captain and owner who attended the book presentation said after listening to the presenters and their accounts, “I too, finally gave in, because the industry turned to bureaucrats to run it, when we, who knew what we were doing were the scientists”.
Congratulation to Augie Felando and Harold Medina for a job well done!
Congratulations to the Portuguese Historical Center for promoting the afternoon and returning to its roots!
Cultural events if presented well are always supported!