CCA comments to South Atlantic Council – dolphin reallocation, snapper-grouper, limited entry for charter/for-hire vessels
Anglers urge state managers to undo damaging regulations
A controversial decision to lower the minimum size limit for speckled trout to 13 inches eight years ago has resulted in exactly the kind of stock decline that recreational anglers feared at the time. Now, with a stock assessment showing that Mississippi’s speckled trout are indeed in trouble, the Mississippi Chapter of Coastal Conservation Association is calling on the Commission on Marine Resources to reverse course and take the necessary steps to put the fishery back on solid footing.
The upcoming meeting of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Sept. 12-16 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is one that could greatly impact the future of recreational angling in the region. Among the items up for discussion are an ad hoc, precedent-setting reallocation of dolphin from the recreational sector to the commercial sector, and a limited entry program for the charter/for-hire industry that would serve as the first step to privatization of marine resources.
A golden opportunity to solidify the ASMFC’s commitment to ecological management of menhaden was missed when the NOAA Fisheries’ representative to ASMFC voted against a measure to maintain the status quo that would have allowed conservation measures to restore menhaden to its full ecological potential.
Recreational fishing community still sees the need for legislative action to require allocation reviews
In response to decades of criticism over not examining how the nation’s public marine fisheries resources are divided among fishing stakeholders, NOAA Fisheries released a Fisheries Allocation Review Policy that describes potential criteria for reviewing fisheries allocations. The recreational fishing and boating community expressed appreciation for this long-awaited recognition of the need to have an allocation policy, but also concern about the lack of firm commitments and timelines for initiating allocation reviews.
CCA Comments on Amendment 10 to the Dolphin Wahoo FMP (dolphin) and Amendment 44 to the Snapper Grouper FMP (yellowtail snapper)
First, it is important to understand that reauthorizing a large environmental law like the MSA is, simply put, a slog. It is hard work.
Managers under pressure to increase harvest of critical forage species
On Wednesday, August 3, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) will face a test of its commitment to manage menhaden as a vital forage species when it decides to either increase commercial harvest or stay the stay the course and allow conservation measures to restore menhaden to its full ecological potential. Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) is urging Commissioners to avoid the impacts of “regulatory whiplash” and stay on the schedule previously established for the full restoration of menhaden to its ecological role throughout its range.
Next week the Atlantic Menhaden Management Board will set specifications for the 2017 fishery and provide further guidance to its Plan Development Team on Draft Amendment 3. These two issues are of the utmost importance to the Coastal Conservation Association. We urge you to keep your commitment to managing menhaden for predators, allow conservation to continue working, and avoid the impacts of regulatory whiplash. Be cautious and measured in your setting of the specifications and stay on the schedule previously established for the approval and implementation of Amendment 3.