Catch share threat dead for now

Thanks to you and many others, catch share fishery management in the South Atlantic is dead – at least for now.

Yesterday at the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council public hearing in Jekyll Island, GA it was announced that the pilot snapper-grouper catch share Exempted Fishing Permit application had been withdrawn.

Click here for media coverage.

This back-door attempt to begin the privatization of our fishery resources by insiders, sitting SAFMC members Charlie Phillips and Chris Conklin and former SAFMC member Jack Cox, all commercial snapper-grouper fleet owners and dealers, met overwhelming opposition from fishermen all across the region.

By the time of the well-attended public hearing, there were a total of 616 comments on the catch share EFP through the SAFMC’s online comment form: 600 comments or 97 percent against and just 16 comments or 3 percent for.

The 97 percent stakeholder opposition to the catch share EFP should be no surprise. It’s the exact same percentage of opposition expressed to any form of catch shares by snapper-grouper stakeholders to the SAFMC during input on it’s long-range snapper-grouper Vision management plan – a plan the SAFMC promised would be “stakeholder-driven.”

But incredibly, one thing was made clear during the announcement of the withdrawal – these insiders plan on regrouping, with the help of the radical Environmental Defense Fund, and returning one day with another plan to capture ownership of our fishery through catch shares.

We’ll have to remain vigilant.

With your help we’ve been able to stop catch shares for now, but it’s taken a toll on our financial resources. We’ve spent thousands in unbudgeted money on action-alert mailings to all commercial and for-hire fishery permit holders in the four state region, and on communications and research.

We’ve taken on a well-funded EDF backed catch share effort and won.

Please help us with your financial support by clicking here today and joining at the highest level you can afford. Any amount would be helpful -- use the "other" amount and give $10, $15, $25, $35 or more. Already a member – please consider increasing your membership level.

Thank you in advance for your support!

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 against catch shares and for fishermen and fishing communities by clicking here and joining today. Already a member – please consider a higher membership level to help. 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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