Better science and data, not catch shares

With the exception of three mini-seasons (2012-2014) the red snapper fishery in the South Atlantic has been effectively closed for over six years.

By most accounts from fishermen, red snapper are very plentiful – they are routinely encountered while fishermen target other species and divers report large schools.

Yet, the stock assessment presented to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council in June says that red snapper are still overfished and that overfishing is still occurring. This despite a lot of uncertainty about the data used in the assessment.

Give the SAFMC credit for not accepting the assessment and asking its Scientific and Statistical Committee to reexamine the assessment and stock status determination this fall.

The ongoing saga of the red snapper fishery highlights the fact that stock assessments can be flawed because of the lack of good biological and historical abundance information. In other words, much better science and data on our fisheries is needed.

A congressionally mandated study by the National Research Council found that “data from the most recent stock assessments indicate 20 of the 55 stocks analyzed were not actually overfished at the time they were placed in rebuilding plans...”

The study points out that its results cut both ways: while a significant number of stock assessments underestimated stock size, some assessments may overestimate stock size, such that “some stocks classified as healthy” are actually overfished.

Instead of devoting adequate financial resources into stock assessments, NOAA has spent about $160 million over the last six years pushing its National Catch Share Policy in an effort to privatize fisheries. Studies have shown that catch share programs hurt fishing communities by destroying jobs and don’t provide any biological benefit to fisheries.

For our fisheries to be properly managed, there must be a focus on better science and data -- not on catch shares -- which equates to more accurate assessments of whether fish stocks are overfished or not. This is the very heart of successful fisheries management.

Tom Swatzel
Executive Director
Council for Sustainable Fishing

P.S. The Council for Sustainable Fishing is a non-profit advocacy group that relies on membership dues to operate. Please help us continue our fight for fishermen and fishing communities by clicking here and joining today. Thank You!

Contributions or gifts to the Council for Sustainable Fishing are not tax deductible as charitable contributions. However, they may be tax deductible as ordinary and necessary business expenses.

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Public hearings and a new board member

Starting next week on August 1st, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will begin public hearings and scoping on proposed fishery management changes for cobia, mutton snapper, dolphin and yellowtail snapper.

Here’s a summary of what’s being proposed:

Cobia: Reduce the bag limit from 2 fish to 1 fish per person/day, establish a vessel limit of 3 fish per vessel/day, and increase the current minimum size limit from 33” to 36”.

Mutton snapper: Define the spawning months, reduce the 10 fish per person/day bag limit to 3 fish per person/day within the aggregate snapper bag limit year round, increase the minimum size limit from 16” to 18”, and establish a commercial trip limit of 300 pounds during the “regular season” and a 3 fish per person/day limit during the designated spawning season.

Dolphin and yellowtail snapper: Options for ways to shift allocations for dolphin and yellowtail snapper between commercial and recreational sectors to help ensure longer fishing seasons, including temporary shifts in allocation on an “as needed” basis, permanent changes to allocation, or removing sector allocations and managing the stocks under single annual catch limits.

Have your voice heard on these important proposed management changes. Click here for the hearing and scoping schedule and detailed information about the proposals.

I want to welcome Denny Springs aboard as our newest board member. Denny was elected at our recent annual meeting. He owns Harrelson’s Seafood Market in Murrells Inlet, SC and is a life long resident of the area. My congratulations and thanks to Denny for his election and willingness to provide fishing industry leadership.

You can also help by joining our effort to optimize and sustain fishing for commercial and recreational fishermen. Please join the Council for Sustainable Fishing at the highest level you can afford today by clicking here.

If you’re already a member, please consider a higher membership level.

We’re a nonprofit group that relies on memberships to operate. Please help today!

Thank you in advance for your support!

Tom Swatzel
Executive Director
Council for Sustainable Fishing

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Two classes of fishermen: "Kings" and "Serfs"

When you hear of fishermen being divided by the government into two classes -- “kings” and “serfs” -- you would think it would be from medieval times or some scheme hatched under a third-world dictatorship.

But no, this is happening in the Gulf of Mexico right now with the commercial red snapper catch share program as documented by an investigative report by AL.com published this week.

The report states that the catch share program “has turned dozens of Gulf of Mexico fishermen into the lords of the sea — able to earn millions annually without even going fishing — and transformed dozens more into modern-day serfs who must pay the lords for the right to harvest red snapper…roughly $60 million has been earned since 2007 by this small number of fishermen whose boats never left port. That money was collected from the labor of fishermen who have no choice but to hand over more than half of the price that their catch brings at the dock.”

According to the report, “just 55 people own the right to catch fully 77 percent of all the snapper in the Gulf, a haul worth $18 million annually…the remaining 25 percent of the harvest, a little over 1 million pounds, is split among about 500 people, which means there are a lot of very small shares. And a lot of fishermen who must buy the right to fish.”

Even former Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Chairman Bob Shipp, who was chairman when the catch share program was approved, has had second thoughts, stating to AL.com, “…nobody on the council realized the scale of what was going on. I had no idea it was as bad as it is."

The scary part is that the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is just a few votes away from forcing catch shares on commercial snapper-grouper fishermen and creating more “kings” and “serfs.”

Last October, after 97 percent of snapper-grouper fishery stakeholders said they oppose any form of catch shares, a vote to remove catch share programs from the long-range fishery “Vision” plan barely passed on a 7 to 5 vote.

This even after the SAFMC had promised the Vision plan would be “stakeholder-driven.” “Voluntary” catch shares remain in the plan.

Our thanks to the hundreds of fishery stakeholders that responded to our mailings and let the SAFMC know just how much they oppose job killing catch shares.

However, we must remain ever vigilant to the threat. It’s clear a significant number of SAFMC members support imposing catch shares no matter what fishery stakeholders want.

Please help us in our efforts to fight catch shares and other unnecessary fishery management measures that have no bearing on fishery sustainability by clicking here today and joining the Council for Sustainable Fishing.

We’re a nonprofit group that relies on memberships to operate. Please help today!

Thank you in advance for your support!

Tom Swatzel
Executive Director
Council for Sustainable Fishing

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Recompression devices reduce dead "floaters"

Barotrauma can prevent the successful catch and release of deep-water snapper-grouper species in the South Atlantic. This is where gas in the swim bladder can over-expand when fish are brought quickly to the surface, resulting in serious injury and likely death to the fish, making them a “floater” if released in this condition.

There is nothing worse than landing a nice fish and being unable to release it alive due to barotrauma. These dead discards, as they are referred to by fishery managers, have to be factored into annual catch limit estimates, so reducing these discards is very important.

Venting the gas from the body cavity of the fish with a needle-like venting tool is one way to improve survivability, but venting must be done properly or it can further harm the fish.

Recompression devices, which take the fish back down to the bottom for release, show more promise in reducing dead discards from barotrauma.

This NOAA video shows how development of recompression devices in the Pacific can successfully address the barotrauma issue in deep-water fisheries, in some cases resulting in an 80 to 85 percent survivability rate from what was virtually a zero chance:

Alaska is now requiring use of these devices on charterboats fishing in deep water.

Last year, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Snapper-Grouper Advisory Panel recommended that the council consider requiring these devices to reduce dead discards for both the commercial and recreational sectors.

We have joined the Advisory Panel in asking the SAFMC to consider requiring recompression devices in the snapper-grouper fishery.

It’s our hope that these devices are put to use soon in the South Atlantic to help end dead discards.

Tom Swatzel
Executive Director
Council for Sustainable Fishing

P.S. The CFSF is a non-profit fishing advocacy group that relies on membership dues to operate. We need your financial support to continue an effective advocacy campaign for fishing interests! Please join today by clicking here. Thank you!

Contributions or gifts to the Council for Sustainable Fishing are not tax deductible as charitable contributions. However, they may be tax deductible as ordinary and necessary business expenses.

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So much for honoring promises

Last week, I attended the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Visioning Workshop in Charleston, SC where the council decided what to include in the long-range management plan for the snapper-grouper fishery – a plan the council promised would be “stakeholder-driven.”

You may recall that the SAFMC conducted 26 port meetings last year and a series of public hearings this summer seeking input on the Vision plan.

The results were crystal clear: snapper-grouper stakeholders do not support job-killing catch share programs, expensive electronic vessel monitoring, and more no-fishing zones as ways to manage the fishery.

According to the stakeholder comments the SAFMC receive this summer:

97% oppose catch shares
94% oppose electronic vessel monitoring
90% oppose more closed fishing areas

So it would seem a SAFMC decision to honor its promise of a stakeholder-driven Vision plan by removing these overwhelmingly opposed measures would be easy.

It was not.

In a meeting that was not recorded for the public record, nor broadcast via webinar, a vote to remove catch share programs from the Vision plan barely passed on a 7 to 5 vote.

After 97 percent of fishery stakeholders opposed any form of catch shares, SAFMC members Jack Cox (NC), Chris Conklin (SC), Charlie Phillips (GA), Zack Bowen (GA), and the designee for Roy Crabtree (NOAA) all voted to ignore stakeholders and keep catch shares in the plan.

So much for honoring promises.

Even though mandatory catch share programs were removed from the Vision plan, the SAFMC supporters of catch shares managed to get a possible voluntary catch share program included.

This effort to privatize the snapper-grouper fishery is led by well-funded special interest groups. It’s not about fishery sustainability, because there is no biological benefit to catch shares. It’s about who will control the fishery and make the most money.

The SAFMC did remove from the plan electronic vessel monitoring and more MPAs and SMZs (excluding the spawning SMZs currently under consideration in Amendment 36 or artificial reef SMZs).

I’m convinced that only through the efforts of committed fishery stakeholders like you, were we able to succeed in getting the majority of the SAFMC to listen to stakeholders and for the most part act accordingly.

Almost 70 percent of the written comments received by the SAFMC on the Vision plan were from comment cards furnished by the Council for Sustainable Fishing to all snapper-grouper permit holders and dealers and others. I’m convinced we also played a big role in public hearing turnout.

The bottom line is that it takes a lot of financial resources to print and mail thousands of comment cards and return envelopes, travel to meetings, maintain a website, and lobby, among others.

On a relatively small budget, we’ve been effective in competing against special interest groups who have spent millions of dollars trying to privatize fisheries.

But to continue to be an effective voice for commercial and recreational fishing interests we need your financial help now. Please join the CFSF today at the highest level you can afford by clicking here.

If you’re already a member, please consider a higher membership level. We really need your help.

Thank you in advance for your support!

Tom Swatzel
Executive Director
Council for Sustainable Fishing

P.S. The CFSF is a non-profit fishing advocacy group that relies on membership dues and to operate. We need your financial support today to continue an effective advocacy campaign for fishing interests! Please join today by clicking here. Thank you!

Contributions or gifts to the Council for Sustainable Fishing are not tax deductible as charitable contributions. However, they may be tax deductible as ordinary and necessary business expenses.

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Important fishery council actions last week

Last week, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council at its meeting in Hilton Head, SC disappointingly moved forward with more no-fishing zones and effectively deferred action on the snapper-grouper Vision Project until next month.

The fishery council approved the following no-fishing spawning Special Management Zones as the preferred alternatives in proposed Snapper-Grouper Amendment 36:

  • North Carolina: South Cape Lookout – 5 sq. miles
  • South Carolina: Devil’s Hole/Georgetown Hole – 3.1 sq. miles
  • Georgia: No sites
  • Florida: Warsaw Hole – 1 sq. mile

While it’s a significant accomplishment to have the total amount of proposed closed areas reduced from 70 sq. miles to about 9 sq. miles, there is still no justification for the action, which will unnecessarily hurt fishermen and fishing communities.

These SMZs are not a part of any fishery rebuilding plan required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act and replicate the purpose of the eight existing deep-water Marine Protected Areas (700 sq. miles) in protecting spawning snapper and grouper.

The existing MPAs have been in place for six years without a plan to evaluate their effectiveness in protecting spawning snapper-grouper. Additional closed areas cannot be justified until the SAFMC adopts such a plan and NOAA does an evaluation.

The fishery council and NOAA approved nearly 24,000 sq. miles of deep-water Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern in which bottom fishing is substantially restricted by prohibitions on anchoring and bottom longlines, providing even more protections for spawning snapper-grouper.

Additionally, the fishery council approved a four-month grouper spawning season closure for all sectors that has been in effect for six years.

The SAFMC will continue to consider Amendment 36 at its December meeting, with final council action likely next March.

It was also a disappointment that the SAFMC did not remove job-killing catch shares, more closed fishing areas, and expensive and intrusive electronic vessel monitoring from the Vision Project, the long-term management strategy for snapper-grouper, particularly after the overwhelming opposition from stakeholders to these measures.

The SAFMC has promised the Vision Project would be “stakeholder-driven.”

According the stakeholder comments received by the SAFMC:

  • 97% oppose catch shares
  • 90% oppose use of closed fishing areas
  • 94% oppose use of electronic vessel monitoring

We’ll be at the special October SAFMC Vision Project meeting in Charleston, SC to urge the council to honor its promise of letting fishery stakeholders drive the direction of the project.

Thanks for your efforts to help on these important issues!

Tom Swatzel
Executive Director

P.S. The Council for Sustainable Fishing is a non-profit fishing advocacy group that relies on membership dues to operate. We need your financial support to continue an effective advocacy campaign for fishing interests! Please join today by clicking here. Thank you!

Contributions or gifts to the Council for Sustainable Fishing are not tax deductible as charitable contributions. However, they may be tax deductible as ordinary and necessary business expenses.

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Crystal clear on the Vision Project

This week, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council released the stakeholder comments it has received on the snapper-grouper Vision Project, a strategic plan that will have serious consequences for all snapper-grouper fishermen, dealers, wholesalers, and consumers.

The results are crystal clear: snapper-grouper stakeholders do not support job-killing catch share programs, expensive electronic vessel monitoring, and more no-fishing zones as ways to manage the fishery.

According to the stakeholder comments:

  • 97% oppose catch shares
  • 90% oppose use of closed fishing areas
  • 94% oppose use of electronic vessel monitoring

Click here for a summary of the comments.

My sincere thanks to all the fishery stakeholders who took the time to submit comments.

As you are aware, the SAFMC promised the Vision Project would be stakeholder-driven,” so the big question as the SAFMC meets on Monday in Hilton Head, SC to consider the direction of the Vision Project is whether the fishery council will honor its promise or not.

It’s troubling that catch shares, electronic monitoring, and more no-fishing zones even made it this far in the Vision Project. The SAFMC conducted 26 “port meetings” last year that were supposed to seek stakeholder input into the project. These meetings produced overwhelming input from stakeholders, like you, that these management measures are vehemently opposed, and should not be in the project plan.

Plus, catch shares, electronic vessel monitoring, and more no-fishing zones are not required to maintain a sustainable snapper-grouper fishery.

Having a “vision” or long-term strategic plan for the management of the snapper-grouper fishery is a good idea, but the plan must be driven by stakeholders as promised, not special interest groups.

The SAFMC’s credibility is clearly on the line with the Vision Project. We can only hope that the fishery council next week honors its promise to fishery stakeholders.

Again, thanks for your efforts!

Wayne Mershon
President

P.S. The Council for Sustainable Fishing is a non-profit fishing advocacy group that relies on membership dues to operate. We need your financial support to continue an effective advocacy campaign for fishing interests! Please join today by clicking here. Thank you!

Contributions or gifts to the Council for Sustainable Fishing are not tax deductible as charitable contributions. However, they may be tax deductible as ordinary and necessary business expenses.

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Are fisheries overfished or not?

Earlier this year, I wrote a widely published op-ed about the lack of stock assessments in federal offshore fisheries management, the basic scientific tool used to determine sustainable fishing levels.

Of the 469 stocks managed by the eight regional fishery management councils, the status of 161 stocks is unknown for lack of stock assessments. In the South Atlantic, of the 59 species in the snapper-grouper fishery, the stock status is unknown for 76 percent or 45 species. Additionally, the status is unknown for important top-water species like dolphin (mahi) and wahoo.

For stocks with an unknown status, the only way to set an annual catch limit is to use historical landings, which has no real scientific basis, and can unfairly penalize fishermen with artificially low catch limits.

Instead of devoting adequate financial resources into stock assessments, NOAA has spent about $160 million over the last six years pushing its National Catch Share Policy in an effort to privatize fisheries by giving commercial fishermen “shares” in fisheries based on catch history, which can be bought and sold like shares on Wall Street. Studies have shown that catch share programs hurt fishing communities by destroying jobs and don’t provide any biological benefit to fisheries.

While more stock assessments are badly needed, a congressionally mandated study by the National Research Council of the effectiveness of fish stock rebuilding plans found that assessments can be flawed because of the lack of good biological and historical abundance information. In other words, much better science and data on our fisheries is needed.

The NRC study found that “data from the most recent stock assessments indicate 20 of the 55 stocks analyzed were not actually overfished at the time they were placed in rebuilding plans...” The study points out that its results cut both ways: while a significant number of stock assessments underestimated stock size, some assessments may overestimate stock size, such that “some stocks classified as healthy” are actually overfished.

For our fisheries to be properly managed, there must be a focus on better science and data, which equates to more accurate assessments of whether fish stocks are overfished or not. This is the very heart of successful fisheries management.

Congress must ensure that NOAA gives funding priority to better science, the collection of better data, and more and better stock assessments. A start would be to redirect catch share funding to these purposes.

Contact your representatives in Congress today and ask them to direct more of NOAA’s funding to fisheries science and data collection and away from programs that actually hurt fishermen and fishing communities like catch shares. Click here for contact information.

Thank you in advance for your efforts!

Tom Swatzel
Executive Director
Council for Sustainable Fishing 

P.S. The Council for Sustainable Fishing is a non-profit advocacy group that relies on membership dues to operate. Please today by clicking here to help us continue our fight for fishermen and fishing communities. Thank You!

Contributions or gifts to the Council for Sustainable Fishing are not tax deductible as charitable contributions. However, they may be tax deductible as ordinary and necessary business expenses.

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State Rep. Goldfinch applauded for stance against offshore no-fishing zones

MURRELLS INLET, SC – The Council for Sustainable Fishing, a regional advocacy group for recreational and commercial fishing interests, Thursday applauded state Rep. Stephen Goldfinch, R-Murrells Inlet, for his letter to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council opposing additional offshore no-fishing zones.

“We thank Rep. Goldfinch for standing up for fishing interests and the coastal economy and his recognition that there is simply no justification for any additional no-fishing areas in the South Atlantic,” Council for Sustainable Fishing Executive Director Tom Swatzel said. “Rep. Goldfinch understands that fishermen and related businesses have been struggling with difficult catch limits that have produced substantial economic hardships and that the last thing we need right now is to close off productive fishing grounds unnecessarily.”  

“As a state House member representing coastal areas of the Georgetown and Charleston counties, I have great concern about the economic impacts of any additional live bottom areas being closed to fishing, particularly an area as vital and productive as the Georgetown Hole,” Goldfinch wrote in the letter. “As an experienced offshore fisherman, I know first hand about fishing in the Georgetown Hole and how important the area is for commercial and recreational fishermen.“

Click here for the Goldfinch letter.

The SAFMC has proposed eight offshore areas from North Carolina to Key West, totaling about 70 sq. miles, be designated as spawning Special Management Zones that would prohibit bottom fishing through Amendment 36 to its snapper-grouper fishery management plan. The largest of the proposed SMZs at 15.2 sq. miles is the famed Georgetown Hole located 55 miles off Georgetown.

The SMZ plan is not part of any fishery rebuilding plan and not required by federal law for fishery sustainability.

“Not only are the live bottom Special Management Zones in the amendment not required, they are duplicative of the eight existing deep-water Marine Protected Areas in the purpose of protecting spawning snapper and grouper,” Goldfinch said. “I respectfully ask the fishery council to stop any further consideration of live bottom spawning Special Management Zones until the existing Marine Protected Areas have been evaluated as to their effectiveness in protecting spawning snapper and grouper.”

The SAFMC and NOAA approved about 700 sq. miles of no-bottom-fishing Marine Protected Areas that were implemented in 2009 to also provide protection to snapper and grouper species. The SAFMC and NOAA have also designated nearly 24,000 sq. miles of deep-water coral habitat in the South Atlantic areas of particular concern in which bottom fishing is substantially restricted by prohibitions on anchoring and bottom longlines.

“One of the especially troubling aspects of the fishery council’s pursuit of these duplicative spawning SMZs in Amendment 36 is that six years after the MPAs have been in place, there has been no systematic monitoring to determine how effective the MPAs have been in protecting snapper and grouper because the council has yet to adopt a system monitoring and evaluation plan,” Goldfinch said. “Until the council and NOAA Fisheries can properly assess spawning activity and other fishery biological information within the existing MPAs, it’s wrong and unfair to fishermen and fishing communities to close more live bottom areas without solid justification.”

This month, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce raised concerns about the proposed closed fishing areas in a letter to the SAFMC.

“We are very wary of the proposal to restrict bottom-fishing in the Special Management Zones along the East Coast,” chamber president Brad Dean said in the letter. “Currently there are large, expansive areas of protected marine areas, including deep-water coral Habitat of Particular Concern, in which fishing is prohibited and/or greatly restricted. Likewise we are not aware of any systematic approach to monitoring the effectiveness of these closed areas, must less expansion of restricted areas.”

“We encourage you to keep in mind the need to balance proactive measures with the needs of small businesses. The local fishing industry is a key part of our tourism industry. Any measures undertaken to enhance the management of our fisheries must not be a threat to the success of those businesses and the visitors they serve,” Dean said.

Click here for the chamber of commerce letter.

Both Goldfinch and Swatzel agree with SAFMC efforts in Amendment 36 to designate experimental artificial reefs off South Carolina as no-fishing SMZs.

“The SC Dept. of Natural Resources has led efforts off our state to build artificial reefs on unproductive sandy bottom, not for fishing, but as havens for snapper and grouper that will build fishery biomass without closing live bottom areas and harming fishermen. I very much support these efforts, as I believe most fishery stakeholders do,” Goldfinch said.

The SAFMC is taking public comments on Amendment 36 through this month and could take final action by the end of the year.

The SAFMC, headquartered in Charleston, SC, is responsible for the conservation and management of federal offshore fish stocks from NC to Key West.

The Council for Sustainable Fishing, based in Murrells Inlet, is a nonprofit organization that advocates optimizing and sustaining fishing opportunities for commercial and recreational fishermen in South Atlantic region.

The CFSF website is Sustainablefishing.org.

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Time is running out to oppose closed fishing areas

Time is running out to oppose the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s proposal to close more offshore fishing areas. The deadline for comments is just two weeks away. I urge you to take action today!

Last week, fishermen, the local chamber of commerce, and others at the public hearing in Murrells Inlet were in vocal opposition to Amendment 36, which would close off about 70 sq. miles more of bottom to fishing from North Carolina to Key West.

There are already nearly 700 sq. miles of existing deep-water Marine Protected Areas in which bottom fishing is prohibited and nearly 24,000 sq. miles of existing deep-water coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern in which bottom fishing is substantially restricted by prohibitions on anchoring and bottom longlines. There is no plan in place to evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of these existing closed areas, much less any new areas.

Plus, these proposed closed areas are not part of any fishery rebuilding plan and not required under the Magnuson-Stevens Act for fishery sustainability. This is an entirely optional action on the part of the SAFMC.

Coverage of the Murrells Inlet hearing from the Myrtle Beach Sun News, entitled “Fishermen reeling over proposal to close famed Georgetown Hole to snapper-grouper fishing”:

“The Council for Sustainable Fishing and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce were among the organizations that voiced concerns over additional closed (fishing) areas.

‘We are very wary of the proposal to restrict bottom-fishing in the Special Management Zones along the East Coast,’ chamber president Brad Dean said in the letter. ‘Currently there are large, expansive areas of protected marine areas, including deep-water coral Habitat of Particular Concern, in which fishing is prohibited and/or greatly restricted. Likewise we are not aware of any systematic approach to monitoring the effectiveness of these closed areas, must less expansion of restricted areas.’

…‘Should the fishery council decide to move forward anyway with these SMZs, we ask that they adopt the alternatives with the smallest possible footprint to limit impacts on fishermen and communities,’ said Tom Swatzel, a former SAFMC council member and executive director of the Council for Sustainable Fishing.”

Click here for the article.

A webinar hearing will be held this Tuesday, August 18th at 6 pm. Register by clicking here.

Public hearings will be held in Georgia and Florida next week:

(All 4 to 7 pm)

Monday, August 24:
Georgia DNR Office, 1 Conservation Way, Brunswick, GA 31520

Tuesday, August 25:
Hilton Garden Inn, 189 Midway Avenue, Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Written comments can be emailed to mike.collins@safmc.net (reference Amendment 36 in the subject line), faxed to (843) 769-4520 or mailed to Robert Mahood, Executive Director, SAFMC, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC 29405. The deadline for comments is 5 pm on August 31st.

I urge you to be heard before it’s too late.

Wayne Mershon
President
Council for Sustainable Fishing

P.S. The Council for Sustainable Fishing is a non-profit advocacy group that relies on membership dues to operate. Please join today by clicking here to help us continue our fight for fishermen and fishing communities. Thank You!

Contributions or gifts to the Council for Sustainable Fishing are not tax deductible as charitable contributions. However, they may be tax deductible as ordinary and necessary business expenses.

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