Anglers applaud decision to terminate catch share development in Amendment 21
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA â€“ Recreational anglers are applauding the South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils decision today to â€œterminate all work relative to catch share development in Amendment 21,â€ the Comprehensive Catch Share Amendment. In a motion by Council member George Geiger of Florida, the Snapper Grouper Committee yesterday voted to remove catch shares from Amendment 21, setting up todays action by the full Council. The decision is good news for recreational anglers who have been fighting the concept of catch shares as a one-size-fits-all solution to fishery management problems.
â€œThere are so many other things for federal managers to be focusing on other than a controversial management scheme like catch shares,â€ said Chester Brewer, chairman of CCAs National Government Relations Committee. â€œThis action by the South Atlantic Council signals that NOAA should stop the rush to embrace catch shares and reconsider its priorities.â€
As part of its ongoing effort to encourage the federal fisheries management system to overhaul the way it views the nations marine resources, Coastal Conservation Association is urging the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to break with the failed policies of the past and chart new management plans for a series of important recreational fisheries.
In recent months, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission have all opted to explore reallocation of fisheries using forward-looking criteria rather than outdated catch histories. The South Atlantic Council is noticeably absent from that list.
CCAs call for reallocation could provide much-needed relief for recreational anglers
GULFPORT, MS â€“ The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has taken a long-awaited first step toward addressing outdated allocations between the commercial and recreational sectors in the grouper and red snapper fisheries. During its meeting this week in Gulfport, the Council voted to begin an amendment on grouper allocations, and to review red snapper allocations and transferability options at its next meeting in April.
â€œThis is something that Coastal Conservation Association has been working on for a long time, and it is a significant development for recreational anglers,â€ said Chester Brewer, chairman of CCAs National Government Relations Committee. â€œFrozen allocations based on realities that no longer exist have plagued recreational anglers for decades. Crafting forward-looking allocations for these fisheries based on current and future economic, social and conservation criteria is the foundation of sensible management.â€
Governor Charlie Crist signed CS/SB 1742 into law and repealed the resident shoreline exemption from the Florida Saltwater Fishing License. The shoreline exemption repeal was a top legislative priority for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and CCA Florida. With help from Senator Lee Constantine (R-Altamonte Springs), Senator Carey Baker (R-Eustis), and Representative Baxter Troutman (R-Winter Haven), the bill was carried through the Florida Legislature and placed on the Governors desk.
â€œThe repeal means that shoreline anglers capable of buying a license will now be contributing to marine fisheries conservation,â€ said Bill Bird, CCA Florida Chairman. â€œMost importantly the license amendment will save Florida anglers from having to pay 20 million dollars in additional federal angler registration fees.â€
Starting in 2010, The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) requires all anglers fishing in federal waters or for anadromous species to obtain a federal registration. The fee charged is anticipated to fall between $15 and $25 per angler, is authorized to commence in 2011, and will be deposited into the National Treasury. A provision in the MSA exempts states that have an adequate saltwater licensing system. The shoreline exemption, which kept Floridas licensing system from being qualified for the federal angler registry, has now been removed.
NEW RESEARCH REVEALS
BOTTOM LONGLINE GEAR IS KILLING LARGE NUMBERS OF ENDANGERED SEA TURTLES!
ACT NOW! SEND YOUR EMAIL COMMENTS TO FEDERAL FISHERIES COUNCIL URGING EMERGENCY RULE TO PROHIBIT COMMERCIAL BOTTOM LONGLINE GEAR!
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MOSQUITO LAGOON AND MERRITT ISLAND NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE PROPOSED FOR NASA COMMERCIAL LAUNCH SITES! MAJOR ADVERSE IMPACTS ON ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES, HABITAT AND PUBLIC ANGLER ACCESS EXPECTED.ACT NOW! SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO NASA AND OUR U.S. SENATORS!
1. BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Mosquito Lagoon and Merritt Island area is one of the premier fishing destinations in Floridas six billion dollar saltwater recreational fishery. Floridas fishery is the largest in the U.S., and twice the value of the second largest state. It is one of the major economic engines driving Floridas tourist economy.
NASA is proposing to develop a commercial space launch facility. NASA consultants have identified two 200 acre alternatives. One of the alternatives is right on the southwest shoreline of Mosquito Lagoon. Major objections to both areas were voiced by a large turn out of saltwater anglers, hikers, bird watchers and other conservationists at recent public hearings.