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:
Southern Florida’s Shrinking Great Outdoors
In an unfortunate over-simplification of a complicated issue, the Miami Herald recently chose to attack what it calls “fishing lobbying groups” for their opposition to proposed fishing and boating closures in Biscayne National Park.
Our community came together to submit an initial set of comments on the Draft Implementation Plan earlier in the public comment period focusing on more general themes that we would like to see incorporated into the final Implementation Plan.
The debate over HB 353–the bill to make red drum, spotted seatrout and striped bass game fish in North Carolina – heats up.
Outlandish catch share proposal draws heated opposition from anglers
A request by a commercial fishing group for a “voluntary” catch share program in the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery raised hackles at the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting this week. Aside from concerns about the legality of the concept and outrage over the details of the proposal, recreational anglers are questioning why the Council continues to explore catch share programs a year after it voted to terminate all work related to catch share development.
The U.S. Department of the Interior wants to blow up living coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico. That’s not a joke — far from it. A ruling issued by DOI requires oil companies to destroy and remove decommissioned oil platforms from the Gulf within five years.