In the News

The Sun News - Myrtle Beach, SC

Collaborating for sustainability in fishing industry

“This is a union of a pair of groups that have often been at odds over the years when it comes sharing the fish that are harvested from the sea, and it’s a union that is for the common good.

The newly formed Council for Sustainable Fishing combines recreational fishermen and commercial fishermen in a concerted effort to work together as a watchdog of federal fisheries management in the South Atlantic Region.

…The Council for Sustainable Fishing’s focus is clear right in its name – push for sustainable fishing for recreational and commercial fishermen alike, in order to provide fresh seafood for the public and to enable seafood related businesses to provide needed support for the economy in coastal areas, without negatively impacting fish stocks.

In short, the group is striving to maximize catch limits for fishermen but at limits that would ensure fish stocks are at healthy levels.” »» Read More


Georgetown (SC) Times:

Swatzel named director of Council for Sustainable Fishing

“The mid-Atlantic fishery has gotten a boost with the formation of an advocacy group with its roots in Murrells Inlet, and the group has lost no time in praising area lawmakers.

Tom Swatzel, a Murrells Inlet businessman and Republican activist, has been named executive director of the Council for Sustainable Fishing, a nonprofit still in its formative stages.

On Wednesday, Swatzel praised Reps. Stephen Goldfinch, R-District 108 and Peter McCoy, R-District 115 for their letter to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council opposing additional no-fishing zones in the South Atlantic.

‘We thank Reps. Goldfinch and McCoy for standing up for fishing interests and the coastal economy and their recognition that there is simply not enough scientific information to justify any additional deep-water Marine Protected Areas in the South Atlantic,’ Swatzel wrote.” »» Read More


WPDE News- Myrtle Beach, SC:

Murrells Inlet man to head new Council for Sustainable Fishing

"The Council for Sustainable Fishing announced its formation Tuesday, as an organization committed to advocate for commercial and recreational fishermen, seafood dealers and wholesalers, restaurateurs, and chefs in the South Atlantic region.

The non-profit group's executive director is Tom Swatzel, a name familiar to many on the Grand Strand. He previously served as a representative to the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council as well as a Georgetown County councilman." »» Read More


The Sun News - Myrtle Beach, SC:

South Atlantic Fishery Council To Discuss Closing Georgetown Hole, Other Areas, To Fishing

"Murrells Inlet seafood dealer Chris Conklin will be sworn as a new member of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council at the start of the council’s meeting on Monday and will immediately find himself embroiled in what promises to be an intense discussion on the proposed establishment of more Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) off the South Atlantic coast.

The impact on South Carolina fishermen – both recreational and commercial – could be significant if all the proposed MPAs are approved, and the council is being urged to do just that by at least one environmental group, the PEW Charitable Trusts.

Eight MPAs were established by the fishery council in 2009 and now the council is being urged to consider a suite of 30 MPAs, including 27 square miles of the historic Georgetown Hole, perhaps the most commonly known offshore fishing area for boats out of Murrells Inlet and Georgetown." »» Read More

Post & Courier - Charleston, SC:

More 'No-Bottom Fishing' Preserves Proposed For South Carolina, Southeast Offshore

“The proposal is ‘a misguided reaction to radical environmental groups that are pushing for extraordinary and unjustifiable protections for two deep-water grouper species,’ said Tom Swatzel, a Murrells Inlet deep-sea charter fisherman who is a former council member." »» Read More

The Sun News - Myrtle Beach, SC:

Tom Swatzel To Bid Farewell To SAFMC

“'While I would have liked to have been reappointed, I’ve had the privilege of representing fishing interests on the SAFMC for six years,' said Swatzel. 'It’s been a great experience for which I’m very grateful.'

Swatzel has become intimately familiar with the council’s constant battle of maintaining healthy fish stocks and allowing fishermen enough access to the resource to survive financially.

'Sometimes achieving sustainable fisheries is a difficult balancing act,' Swatzel said. 'My view is that we should strive for sustainable fisheries that economically and socially benefit all fishing sectors and fishing communities to the highest extent possible.'

'In my time in office I’ve had the honor of interacting with so many fishermen and coastal businesses from North Carolina to Key West, Fla., who were willing to stand up for their livelihood by speaking out at SAFMC meetings or testifying at public hearings. I greatly admire their efforts and hope it will continue.'" »» Read More

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