CCA created the CCA South Atlantic Fisheries Committee as a subcommittee of the National Government Relations Committee. It is comprised of dedicated CCA volunteers working within the federal fisheries council system for better fisheries management in the South Atlantic.
Representatives from the committee attend management board meetings and technical committee meetings. Attendance in this meeting process is critical to fully understand the biology and management of each particular species. The CCA South Atlantic Fisheries Committee then formulates goals for each species and works within the Council system to implement them through state organizations and agencies.
Richen Brame serves as the CCA South Atlantic Fisheries Director and staff member for the committee.
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.
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council should be commended for creating such a robust Draft Visioning Document for the snapper-grouper fishery. Nearly everything the Coastal Conservation Association would like to see included in the suite of management options for the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery is included; however, and unfortunately, nearly everything we would not like to see is also included. Given the length and detail of the document, we will provide thematic comment on the seven issues we believe are most critical for the proper management of the fishery, and for ensuring commensurate access to it for recreational anglers.
Recreational fishing and boating community praises Congressional leaders for addressing flawed marine reserve decision
Posted on July 30, 2015
On the heels of the recent announcement to close over 10,000 acres of Biscayne National Park to fishing, a coalition of recreational fishing and boating organizations praised the introduction of a bipartisan bill, H.R. 3310, that will help stop this and similar unwarranted fishing closures from occurring. Led by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), and 28 other original sponsors, the “Preserving Public Access to Public Waters Act” requires the National Park Service and Office of National Marine Sanctuaries to have approval from state fish and wildlife agencies before closing state waters to recreational or commercial fishing.
Allocation of fishery resources is one of the prime responsibilities of the federal regional fishery management councils, and yet there exists no standardized procedure or even a timetable for reviewing allocations as changing circumstances dictate.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are management tools that limit or eliminate fishing from a particular area. On paper, they are portrayed as sanctuaries that protect critical habitats from degradation, or fish from harvest, and allow populations to recover and move out into unprotected areas where they may be harvested. On the water, the science on how effective MPAs are is incomplete, at best, and MPAs are such a drastic measure that they should be regarded as the tool of last resort for fishery managers.
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and senators from Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and North Carolina today sent a letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office requesting a review of how the Department of Commerce conducts stock assessments in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic. The stock assessments conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service are critical in maintaining the vitality of the fisheries, the fishing communities, and related industries in Florida and the region.
Recreational boating and fishing community guardedly optimistic but firm on need for General Management Plan changes
Posted on September 27, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 27, 2012 – Today, a coalition of national boating and fishing organizations, concerned with the long term health of and public access to Florida’s Biscayne National Park, sent a letter expressing appreciation for recent positive steps in the development of a General Management Plan for the Park, but reiterated concerns about the potential to unnecessarily close large areas of the Park to the public.
B.A.S.S. joins other fishing organizations to fight anti-fishing plan
Posted on November 08, 2011
Despite the opposition from numerous stakeholders and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the recently released Draft General Management Plan (GMP) for Florida’s Biscayne National Park proposes to close more than 20 percent of its public waters to recreational fishing and other activities.
Self-imposed restrictions forcing South Atlantic Council to close fishery
Posted on October 12, 2011
In a letter to South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Chairman David Cupka, Coastal Conservation Association is urging the Council to take common-sense steps to remedy an unnecessarily restrictive rebuilding plan for black sea bass. The pending closure on black sea bass, proposed for October to June, compounds an already difficult offshore angling environment already reeling from closures on red snapper, groupers and vermillion snapper.
There’s a lot of cynicism these days about politics and politicians, much of it justified, and I won’t try to tackle that thorny issue in this blog. Instead, I want to tell you about a positive experience I had recently in Washington, D.C.
Anglers applaud decision to terminate catch share development in Amendment 21
Posted on March 11, 2011
Recreational anglers are applauding the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s decision today to “terminate all work relative to catch share development in Amendment 21,” the Comprehensive Catch Share Amendment. In a motion by Council member George Geiger of Florida, the Snapper Grouper Committee yesterday voted to remove catch shares from Amendment 21, setting up today’s action by the full Council.
The road to this point has not been simple. Coastal Conservation Association is among the many groups that have been opposed to catch shares, and we have invested a great deal of time and resources on many fronts to lessen the potential for negative impacts of such programs on the recreational angling community.
Reallocation glaringly absent from documents on managing fisheries
Posted on March 04, 2011
As part of its ongoing effort to encourage the federal fisheries management system to overhaul the way it views the nation’s marine resources, Coastal Conservation Association is urging the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to break with the failed policies of the past and chart new management plans for a series of important recreational fisheries.
Anglers frustrated with unrealistic implementation of Magnuson-Stevens Act
Posted on February 18, 2011
SILVER SPRINGS, MD – A three-day workshop on annual catch limits (ACLs) sponsored by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that concludes this week leaves very little hope that the recreational sector will find a way to mitigate the negative impacts of ACLs without a legislative fix to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the overarching federal law governing the nation’s fisheries.
Much has been made about the catch share issue in recent months. Catch shares are a poorly understood issue that has been made more complicated by an absolute avalanche of mistruths, half-truths, and outright lies swirling about it in fishing chatrooms and blogs across the country.
They say that fishing is the world’s second oldest occupation, so it is likely there have been more ironic events in its long, storied history, but the recent letter from Massachusetts’s Governor Deval Patrick to President Obama must rank near the top of the list.
CCA calls on managers to seek reasonable interim measures regarding black sea bass pending new assessment
Posted on January 25, 2011
Federal fisheries managers are set to close another popular recreational fishery in the South Atlantic in the latest example of how chronic lapses in science and data-collection are wreaking havoc on the recreational angling sector. Less than two months after narrowly avoiding a massive closure of all bottom fishing in the South Atlantic to recover red snapper, federal managers have announced that black sea bass are set to become off-limits from February to June due to circumstances that sound frustratingly familiar to anglers.
It must be pointed out that this comment process is seriously flawed given the sheer breadth and complexity of the issues that have been presented simultaneously here. This process, which involves hundreds of pages of documents on these issues, is not conducive to allowing stakeholders to develop informed decisions on the dozens of management options presented here, options that could have serious implications on the public’s ability to access these public resources in the future.
New science removes threat of massive bottom closures in response to red snapper mess...for now
Posted on December 03, 2010
The rollercoaster of red snapper management in the South Atlantic took yet another turn this week when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced a six-month delay in implementing large-scale closures to all bottom fishing as a management measure to recover red snapper stocks.
Overwhelming opposition to management scheme at Gulf Council workshop
Posted on November 10, 2010
If the public comment period at the Sector Separation Workshop hosted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is any indication, recreational anglers are united against any proposal to separate the recreational sector into for-hire/charter and private boat angler categories. The three-day workshop was put on by the Gulf Council this week ostensibly to help managers and stakeholders gain a better understanding of sector separation as a proposed management tool for recreational fisheries.
Sportsman SD and HD Now Available as A la Carte Option; New Subscriber Proceeds To Support Gulf Coast Fund & Coastal Conservation Association
Posted on August 31, 2010
In an effort to raise awareness and funds for Gulf regions working to recover from the recent oil spill disaster, Sportsman Channel will funnel this year’s proceeds from the a la carte pricing to a special “Sportsman’s Fund” created with the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) to benefit Gulf coast habitat restoration and research. CCA is one of the largest non-profit marine conservation groups in America.
Recreational appointments shift Gulf Council closer to balance
Posted on June 24, 2010
The 2010 regional fishery management council appointments released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Commerce gave an indication that federal officials are paying attention to the concerns of recreational anglers. One of the key issues voiced by anglers at the Recreational Fishing Summit hosted by NOAA Fisheries in April was a need for balanced representation on the councils, and appointments made to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council yesterday are a solid step in the right direction.
At this point, CCA does not support the adoption of any of the proposed regulatory changes in Amendment 17A. CCA calls for additional review of the science before making any additional management changes.
CCA is fully aware of the tenets of the Magnuson Act that are forcing this issue, yet we do not believe that closing down fishery after fishery for recreational anglers was what Congress had in mind when it reauthorized the Magnuson-Stevens Act in 2006. Large-scale closures should always be the last option explored by fisheries managers, not the first.