Longliners allowed back into conservation zone
Exempted fishing permit rolls back conservation gains for Atlantic billfish
A great marine conservation victory has been put in jeopardy by a highly controversial plan to reintroduce indiscriminate longlines into areas that have been closed to the damaging gear for decades.
In spite of the recreational angling community's united opposition, the federal Office of Highly Migratory Species has announced that a fleet of six longliners will be allowed into the conservation zones off Florida's east coast. Utilizing the federal exempted fishing permit program, a single company based on the east coast of Florida will be allowed to drop thousands of longline hooks inside Florida's East Coast Closed Zone targeting billfish and other species.
This action must be reversed and the gaping loopholes in the exempted fishing permit program that allowed it must be eliminated. Click the link below to find out more about this issue and for information to contact your Congressmen.
Please take a few minutes to help us reverse this misguided action and encourage your elected officials to support the Modern Fish Act, which contains language to reform the exempted fishing permit process. Click HERE to help prevent our hard-won conservation gains from being exploited and abused.
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Catch shares in marine fisheries is a concept unfamiliar to most people, and it is probably completely alien to most hunters and anglers in this country. It is a system of wildlife management that bestows some percentage of a public marine resource, like red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico, to private businesses for free, to use and sell for their own profit.