Efforts on track to remove destructive gear from Lower Columbia, improve local economy
A policy to remove non-tribal gillnets from the mainstem of the Columbia River moved another step closer to implementation this week with the Washington Court of Appeal’s opinion affirming the Thurston County District Court’s dismissal of a lawsuit filed by commercial gillnet interests challenging the policy.
Recreational fishing is one of America’s greatest outdoor activities. More than 33 million Americans
fish recreationally and it has special significance for people living in and near the Gulf of
Mexico. One of the crown jewels of recreational fishing in the Gulf is red snapper. Americans spend
tens of millions of dollars chasing red snapper in the Gulf -- on boats, gear, gas, food, beverage,
guides, hotels and restaurants. That is, they used to...
Minority report highlight flaws in sector separation amendment
Eight representatives to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council have submitted a minority report to the National Marine Fisheries Service that lays out an extensive series of objections to a highly controversial management plan for Gulf red snapper. The report focuses on significant shortcomings in the development and presentation of Amendment 40, a measure that will reserve a significant percentage of the recreational red snapper quota solely for use by the charter/for-hire industry. Amendment 40 was narrowly approved at the October meeting of the Gulf Council and is now pending approval by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.
Hearing on Rep. Jeff Miller’s bill explores options to flawed federal management system
The U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs held a hearing today on legislation to transfer management of Gulf red snapper from the federal system and allow the states to take responsibility for the fishery. The legislation, H.R. 3099, proposes a new course for management of Gulf red snapper, an important fishery that has been plagued by short seasons and privatization schemes even as the stock has recovered beyond expectations.
Council and NOAA staffers often lament the challenges and shortcomings of the Gulf Council and wonder aloud why it has devolved into such a mess. By comparison at this point, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council runs like a church service, and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission like a military unit. So what’s the difference? It’s not a mystery. The same motivation that pulled the New England Council into chaos is at work here – greed.
Anglers applaud Atlantic Commission’s more conservative approach for popular gamefish
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) Striped Bass Management Board voted this week to adopt new, more conservative reference points for striped bass and reduce fishing mortality by 25 percent in the coastal states and 20.5 percent in the Chesapeake Bay. The decision is welcome news for recreational anglers who have grown alarmed at the precipitous decline of the most popular gamefish on the East Coast.
Council decision relegates recreational anglers to bystanders in snapper fishery
“It is extremely disappointing that such a flawed management proposal was approved in the face of so much opposition,” said Bill Bird, chairman of Coastal Conservation Association’s National Government Relations Committee. “Significant questions over key components of Amendment 40 were never adequately addressed. This amendment will create such striking inequities for private recreational anglers that it is difficult to understand how this amendment will be sustainable. It is infuriating that the Gulf Council continues its give away of a public resource when the public has neither a reasonable season nor reasonable size and bag limits for that same resource.”
CCA Louisiana and partners launch artificial reefing project to save famed Louisiana trout hotspot
The Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, along with partners, Apache Corporation, Fieldwood Energy and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, began construction Tuesday on an artificial reef system in Ship Shoal 26, known by many Louisiana anglers as “the Pickets.”