Commercial Fishing Collaborative withdraws permit application for catch shares
JEKYLL ISLAND, GEORGIA - A controversial exempted fishing permit (EFP) to initiate a commercial privatization program for at least six species of fish in the South Atlantic was shelved this week after widespread public outcry. The announcement that the South Atlantic Commercial Fishing Collaborative, made up of two sitting Council members and one former member, were withdrawing the EFP was made at the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Jekyll Island, Georgia.
“Public sentiment against this EFP was overwhelming, which shows that the angling public is very much aware of these privatization schemes and they’ve had enough of them,” said Bill Bird, chairman of the Coastal Conservation Association’s National Government Relations Committee. “There should be no place for privatization of our public marine resources in the federal fisheries management system, but our fear is that this EFP will be retooled and reintroduced in the future when the noise dies down. Anglers in the South Atlantic will have to remain vigilant.”
By Jeff Angers, Sport Fishing magazine
The chaos characterizing Gulf of Mexico fisheries laws is poised to infect South Atlantic waters without executive-level intervention.
Gag grouper are just one of the popular sport-fish species that may become part of a new "giveaway" in the Atlantic.
Chaos reigns in marine fisheries management thanks to a federal agency that advocates for private ownership of America’s public resources.
The alarming investigative series “Hooked Up” (Fox8/New Orleans) dug deep into the muck of the controversial giveaway of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. Now the stage is being set to export this swamp to the South Atlantic for at least six species – blueline tilefish, gag grouper, gray triggerfish, greater amberjack, the jacks complex and vermilion snapper.
A group calling itself the South Atlantic Commercial Fishing Collaborative is using the oft-abused federal Exempted Fishing Permit process…… Click here for the rest of the story
WASHINGTON, DC (February 16, 2017) – Conservationists and anglers are praising a bill filed yesterday by U.S. Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) that seeks to clear the way for full implementation of a landmark law to raise protections for billfish. The Billfish Conservation Act (BCA) was lauded when it was signed into law in 2012, but a slight ambiguity in the wording of the original legislation prevented it from being implemented as intended by the federal government.
“IGFA has been devoted to the success of the Billfish Conservation Act from the beginning, and we are hopeful that the action of Senators Nelson, Rubio, Manchin and Moran will close the continental U.S market for billfish once and for all," said Rob Kramer, president of the International Game Fish Association. “On behalf of the millions of saltwater recreational anglers, thank you for working to ensure the United States is the leader in billfish conservation."
Already well-known for his leadership on legislation to move management of the troubled Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery to the states, Louisiana Congressman Garret Graves is now playing a leading role in an unflinching critique of the federal government’s efforts to privatize Gulf fisheries for a select few commercial harvesters in a five-part investigative series by Fox8/New Orleans.
“If you watch this series you know that the forces trying to take over public marine resources like red snapper for their own are not afraid to target and take down any politician who opposes them,” said Bill Bird, chairman of Coastal Conservation Association’s National Government Relations Committee. “That makes what Rep. Graves is doing by standing up to this corrupt system even more admirable. Recreational anglers and the public at large owe him their utmost support as he leads this charge.”