The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Technical Committee (TC) and Stock Assessment Committee (SAC) process is supposed to be a simple one that allows the members, who come from state agencies, federal agencies and academia, to do the technical work necessary to manage marine fisheries. One primary object of this process is to allow only qualified, independent scientists to populate the committees, who can be expected to produce results that are not biased towards any one sector or another. Such scientists insulated from the grind of fishery politics are the very engine on which marine fisheries management runs.
CCA applauds Texas Congressman’s strong opposition to misguided Idle Iron directive
In the latest display of opposition to an unpopular federal directive, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tx) is calling for the Department of Interior to reconsider its Idle Iron policy that stands to dismantle critical marine habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. The Idle Iron directive, issued by the Department in the immediate aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, orders non-producing oil and gas rigs and other structures in offshore waters to be removed within five years of the issuance of the directive.
As the debate winds down on whether Gulf states will be consistent with federal regulations for the 2012 red snapper season in the Gulf of Mexico – 40-days (tops) and a two-fish bag limit – it once again brings the conversation around to what seems to be the best solution of all: “Why don’t we just extend state waters out to 30 miles or 100 miles or 200 miles for fisheries management and be done with it?”
Artificial reef named in honor of the late Southwest Louisiana sportsman
In a letter to U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Florida’s bi-partisan U.S. Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio urge the National Park Service to reconsider the proposed General Management Plan (GMP) for Biscayne National Park and to work cooperatively with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to maintain public access for anglers and boaters.
CCA applauds Texas Governor’s call to protect Gulf rigs, artificial structure
In a letter to U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Texas Governor Rick Perry is calling for a review of the federal government’s “Idle Iron” policy that threatens to dismantle what is regarded as the largest artificial reef system in the world. In the letter, Perry says that the policy, which orders non-producing oil and gas rigs and other structures in offshore waters to be removed within five years of the issuance of the directive, will have profound negative implications for marine fisheries and the local coastal communities and businesses that rely on the fishing opportunities that these structures provide in the Gulf.
Coastal Conservation Association rejects the validity of the EFP and questions the propriety of NOAA Fisheries allowing the proposal to be presented to the Council for consideration. By promoting the EFP, NOAA Fisheries has made a farce of every requirement contained in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act for the implementation of catch share programs.
Gulf Council begins process to properly recognize value of artificial reefs
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX - A request to have the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council begin the process of classifying rigs and other vital artificial reefs as Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) was unanimously approved by the Council at its April meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas.
One of the goals of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), our primary federal fisheries law, is the identification and protection of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). The goal is laudable enough since sufficient habitat is key to the health of all our fisheries.
Just when you think federal fisheries management can’t get any more confusing, NOAA Fisheries pops out a solution to a problem that is truly baffling, especially when viewed against recent decisions to dramatically limit recreational catch in other regions. Last week, NOAA announced that fishermen will be allowed to catch up to 6,700 metric tons of Gulf of Maine cod in 2012. The statement from NOAA read: