Re: “Trapped by heroin: Lobster industry struggles with its deadly secret” (April 2):

If the state wants to reduce opiate use in the lobster fishery, it should consider mandatory random drug testing for lobster license holders.

I am now an attorney for the fishing industry. I was a Coast Guard officer when the service instituted random urinalysis. Prior to this program, drug use was an issue aboard many cutters. With random urinalysis the problem quickly disappeared. Licensed merchant mariners are subject to random testing, and drug use is very rare.

To those who say that random testing is excessive government intrusion, the intrusion is justified for those who are licensed to harvest a public resource for private gain, and who are responsible for the safety of their crew.

Even heroin addicts are rational actors until they touch bottom. Make the likely loss of the lobster license a consequence of opiate use, and opiate use among license holders would all but end.

Nicholas Walsh