Articles about Press Releases
CCA and Harte Research Institute Partner to Create Sportfishing Science Center
Houston, Texas – Coastal Conservation Association Texas recently pledged $500,000 toward the creation of a Sportfishing Research Center within the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
As a result of consistent pressure and engagement by Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and its partners, language that begins to address the critical issue of Gulf rig and platform removals has been included in the Sportsmen's Act of 2012. Congressional Sportsman Caucus Chairs Senators Jon Tester (D-Mt) and John Thune (R-SD) introduced the Sportsmen's Act of 2012 as an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill (S. 3240) this week.
Urgency mounts over negative impacts of Idle Iron policy
A coalition of marine conservation, tackle and boating industry groups is calling for a halt to the
federal government’s destructive “Idle Iron” policy that threatens to dismantle what is regarded as the
largest artificial reef system in the world. In a letter to U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar,
the coalition calls for a moratorium to prevent the Idle Iron Policy from inflicting further irreparable
damage on an extensive range of marine fisheries and ecosystems.
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.
House Committee on Natural Resources holds hearing on eight fisheries bills
Robert G. Hayes, one of the most respected voices on state, federal andinternational fisheries management issues, is among those invited by U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, to appear before a hearing of his committee on Dec. 1 and offer testimony on a number of bills that stand to impact federal fisheries management.
Nelson/Rubio Bill racing the clock to fix management problems in federal saltwater fisheries
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nov. 29, 2011– With a December 31 deadline looming, support is surging for legislation to ensure that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service uses sound science to set catch limits for the nation’s fisheries as a Senate version of the Fishery Science Improvement Act was introduced late yesterday by Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
Gov. Jindal Unveils "Louisiana Plan" for Restoring Damaged Coastal Areas, Fisheries and Oyster Seed Grounds from Oil Spill
Today, Governor Bobby Jindal unveiled the “Louisiana Plan” to start restoring the state’s coastal areas, fisheries and oyster seed grounds from the devastating impact of the BP oil spill. The state will be submitting a list of projects to BP, the Department of Interior and NOAA, and the funding will come from a $1 billion agreement announced in April 2011 for early restoration of damaged natural resources resulting from the oil spill.
Anglers and industry groups unite to address catch limit problems in federal saltwater fisheries
A bill introduced by Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) seeks to ensure that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Fisheries Service is required to set catch limits based on sound science. The bi-partisan legislation, known as the Fishery Science Improvement Act (FSIA), is endorsed by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus as well as a broad coalition of conservation, sportfishing and marine industry groups.
Recreational sector generates six times the jobs, 12 times the sales of commercial industry
North Carolina has the opportunity to increase the economic impact of fishery management to the entire state with a single bill - H.B. 353, a bill to make striped bass, red drum and speckled trout gamefish. According to a study released this week by Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina, the economic impacts of recreational angling for those three species dwarf those of the commercial sector and make a compelling case for legislative measures that enhance recreational fisheries.
CCA applauds efforts on behalf of recreational anglers
Red snapper season in the Gulf is just around the corner, and if Gov. Rick Perry and other Gulf state governors have their way, it will be a bit longer than anyone expected. In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon spill last summer, the recreational angling sector fell short of catching its quota of red snapper by almost one-third. Gov. Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott have all presented letters to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council urging that more than one million pounds of red snapper uncaught in 2010 be added to the 2011 season.
More light is being shed on the negative impacts of separating the recreational angling sector into "private boat angler" and "charter/for-hire" segments during the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting this week in Alabama. Coastal Conservation Association has long opposed "sector separation" because it makes recreational anglers compete against each other at a time when there seem to be fewer and fewer opportunities for anglers to pursue fish offshore.
“The days-at-sea program is being sold as a benefit for conservation, data collection and management, but all of those things can be achieved by means other than catch shares and sector separation,” said Bird. “Additionally, the Council could help the entire recreational sector and not just the charter and headboat operators by reallocating the red snapper fishery properly in the first place...”
4,000 concrete culverts set to go in nearshore waters this summer
The CCA Texas Habitat Today for Fish Tomorrow (HTFT) program continues to pursue its aggressive goal to develop reefing projects in state waters all along the coast and has announced plans to drop 4,000 concrete culverts in a designated 160-acre reefing site off Port Mansfield this summer.
ASMFC takes first steps to rebuild menhaden forage base
ALEXANDRIA, VA – For the first time ever, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission took steps to rein in the industrial harvest of menhaden and begin the process of managing the menhaden fishery. If adopted, the measures proposed today by the Menhaden Management Board would lead to a reduction of menhaden harvest in both the reduction and bait fisheries.
Anglers applaud decision to terminate catch share development in Amendment 21
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.
CCA comments to Senate focus on negative impacts to recreational fisheries
WASHINGTON, DC - In response to a growing chorus of frustration, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing today before the Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard Subcommittee on implementation of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Bill Bird, a long-time volunteer leader in the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), was invited to testify on how MSA implementation is impacting recreational fisheries.
Reallocation glaringly absent from documents on managing fisheries
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.
Latest reefing effort brings partners together to create near-shore reef fish habitat
Coastal Conservation Association has announced plans for a $100,000 reef project off the Texas mid-coast, funded by CCA Texas, CCA National’s Building Conservation Habitat Program, Shell, Shimano and Frabill, in partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Artificial Reef Program. This latest step in CCA’s reefing program will bring valuable reef fish habitat and angling opportunities in the heart of the Texas coast at a time when it is needed most.
Anglers frustrated with unrealistic implementation of Magnuson-Stevens Act
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.
CCA comments on problematic Annual Catch Limit regulations at NOAA workshop
SILVER SPRING, MD – A workshop hosted jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the regional Fishery Management Councils and nationally recognized experts this week will give the first opportunity to convey to federal managers the need to mitigate the severe negative impacts of the current annual catch limit (ACL) requirements on the recreational sector.
CCA's call for reallocation could provide much-needed relief for recreational anglers
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has taken a long-awaited first step toward addressing outdated allocations between the commercial and recreational sectors in the grouper and red snapper fisheries. During its meeting this week in Gulfport, the Council voted to begin an amendment on grouper allocations, and to review red snapper allocations and transferability options at its next meeting in April.
STATEMENT OF COASTAL CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION AT THE FEBRUARY 2011 MEETING OF THE GULF OF MEXICO FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL:
Third massive bass kill photographed off Oregon Inlet
In a mistake that was entirely predictable, the state’s Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) has allowed the use of large trawl nets among large schools of striped bass. And, for the third time in less than three weeks, a massive striped bass kill has occurred. The latest example of "regulatory dead discards" was photographed from a helicopter off Oregon Inlet this week and was again evidenced by a long trail of dead striped bass in the vicinity of commercial trawlers.
CCA calls on managers to seek reasonable interim measures regarding black sea bass pending new assessment
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.
BATON ROUGE – Today, Governor Bobby Jindal joined the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and Shell Oil Company to announce a new public-private partnership – between the recreational angling community, private businesses and the state – to assist in CCA’s ongoing Building Conservation Habitat Program. Shell has committed 1.5 million dollars to CCA’s Building Conservation Habitat Program.
New science removes threat of massive bottom closures in response to red snapper mess...for now
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
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.
Anglers applaud precedent-setting move to examine outdated allocation for scup
CHARLESTON, SC – The Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Committee met jointly today, and in response to a request from Coastal Conservation Association voted to begin an analysis of the scup fishery to determine whether a modification of the current allocation is needed.
Managers reject proposal to increase commercial harvest
CHARLESTON, SC – After months of intense debate, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) announced today that it has denied a proposal to increase the commercial harvest of striped bass by up to 50 percent. Public sentiment has run intensely against the proposal from the moment it was introduced last February, as recreational anglers up and down the East Coast flooded their ASMFC representatives with calls to deny the proposal.
After months of intense debate, today’s official release of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations’ (NOAA) Catch Share Policy provides recreational anglers with two key elements: a framework to redistribute the benefits of harvesting the nation’s marine resources; and a commitment that catch shares have no place as a management tool for private recreational anglers. Coordinated input from the angling community significantly altered aspects of the draft policy, particularly the process of allocating fisheries between sectors.
CCA founder’s conservation legacy lives on at Fondren Conservation Headquarters
The Board of Directors of Coastal Conservation Association honored the conservation legacy of the organization’s founder during its recent meeting in Houston by dedicating CCA’s building the Walter W. Fondren III Conservation Headquarters. The building serves as headquarters for both the national organization and for CCA Texas.
Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus weighs in for a federal fisheries fix
(Oct. 01, 2010 - Washington, DC)... Support is growing for legislation to address the crisis in federal marine fisheries management as a House version of the Fishery Conservation Transition Act was introduced...
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to bring more fairness to the Puget Sound Dungeness fishery by adopting "Option A" for its new Puget Sound Crab policy. This long overdue policy change rightfully recognizes the importance of recreational crabbing in Puget Sound and provides a SIGNIFICANT increase in fishing opportunity for Puget Sound crabbers.
Field & Stream honors CCA volunteer for work leading Louisiana artificial reef program
CCA’s John Walther has been named one of the six finalists for Field & Stream’s 2010 Heroes of Conservation award designed to recognize sportsmen dedicated to the protection of fish and wildlife habitat.
Against the backdrop of the worst oil spill in U.S. history, several non-governmental organizations are calling upon the federal government to ban the use of highly destructive, indiscriminate pelagic longline gear in the Gulf of Mexico. Longlines in the Gulf are used ostensibly to target yellowfin tuna and swordfish, but they also take a heavy bycatch of troubles species like bluefin tuna, marlin, sharks, and sea turtles.
Another federal fishery illustrates need for shift in allocation, management philosophy
HOUSTON, TX – Recreational anglers will find themselves in a familiar situation in another federal fishery when an interim rule set to go into effect in January will completely close the Gulf recreational fishery for gag grouper, yet still allow commercial boats to land and sell gags.
Sportsman SD and HD Now Available as A la Carte Option; New Subscriber Proceeds To Support Gulf Coast Fund & Coastal Conservation Association
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.
Scup is latest in long line of allocations that shortchange recreational sector
While the news from the most recent Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council meeting indicated a rosy future for scup, the Council’s failure to seek an economic study of the way scup are allocated between the recreational and commercial sectors presages a far dimmer future for scup anglers.
Statement on Proposed Emergency Action to Authorize the Re-opening of the Recreational Red Snapper Season in the Gulf of Mexico
Coastal Conservation Association more than 80,000 members in state chapters along the Gulf Coast and has been an active participant in the federal management of red snapper for more than 20 years. The current situation is unique in the history of this fishery and we would like to commend the Council for taking a pragmatic approach to these unique circumstances.
Fall red snapper season starts to take shape
HOUSTON, TX – A fall red snapper season is in the works thanks to a vote of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council at its meeting last week in Florida. The extension is designed to give recreational anglers who might have missed out on the 53-day season due to closures associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill a chance to fish.
CCA Texas partners with state to add 250 tons of material to reef off Freeport
HOUSTON, TX – Texas anglers now have more fishing room at Vancouver Reef after more than 250 tons of concrete and granite reefing material were added to the popular fishing site this week through a cooperative effort of CCA Texas and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). The addition of the material marks the single largest addition to the reef since the original Liberty ship was sunk at the site off Freeport in 1976.
CCA NY Thanks Governor, Legislators for Prohibiting Commercial Striped Bass Fishery in the Hudson River
Coastal Conservation Association New York is taking this opportunity to thank New York’s Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, along with the members of New York’s Senate and Assembly, for enacting legislation which will protect New York’s spawning population of striped bass.
Saltwater recreational fishing reopened in the vast majority of Louisiana’s state waters three weeks ago, and it’s time for anglers to return to the water with their families and friends, according to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. The governor joined several representatives of the recreational fishing community on a fishing trip Wednesday, July 28 in the Gulf of Mexico south of Houma, Louisiana, catching a variety of popular sport fish.
Sportfishing and Boating Communities Continue to Call for Public Access in New National Ocean Policy
On July 19, 2010, the White House's Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force released its final report on a new national policy with the stated goals of ensuring protection, maintenance and restoration of the nation’s oceans, coastal areas and the Great Lakes.
Legislation introduces measures to address management deficiencies and prevent precipitous, massive fisheries closures
Today, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) introduced legislation designed to safeguard the strong conservation standards of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) while addressing a growing crisis within the federal marine fisheries management system.
Habitat restoration focus of CCA presentation to Senate Democrats
CCA meeting with Senate Democrats emphasizes need for habitat restoration.
Recreational appointments shift Gulf Council closer to balance
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.
Meeting with Sen. Richard Shelby seeks support for habitat restoration, hatchery
In a meeting with U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Coastal Conservation Association Alabama called on BP and the federal government to support plans for habitat restoration and construction of a saltwater fish hatchery/research center to reverse damages to Gulf marine resources as quickly as possible.
Emergency rule gives option for longer season if quota not taken due to oil spill
GULFPORT, MS - In response to a request from Coastal Conservation Association, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has approved an emergency rule that paves the way for the recreational red snapper season to remain open past July 24 if the quota is not taken due to the oil spill. Dr. Russell Nelson, CCA’s Gulf Fisheries Director, made the request for the impact of the oil spill to be taken into account during the Council’s meeting this week in Gulfport, Mississippi.
Committee moves forward with addressing management targets for menhaden
At its meeting last week in Washington DC, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) directed its Menhaden Technical Committee to develop new options for managing menhaden more like a critical forage species than a fish to be industrially harvested. A move that many East Coast anglers would say is long past due.
Gamble to increase commercial take by up to 50 percent heads for public hearings
WASHINGTON DC – Anglers will soon have the opportunity to comment on a new effort to increase the coastal commercial harvest of striped bass by 20 to 50 percent, after the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) Striped Bass Management Board voted this week to send the proposal out for public hearing.
CCA Gulf State chapters standing by to lend assistance in cleanup efforts
In response to the tragic rig explosion and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Coastal Conservation Association chapters along the Gulf Coast have offered assistance to state agencies as they enact plans for clean-up efforts.
Anglers left holding the bag with shortest red snapper season on record
NOAA Fisheries announced a perplexing paradox today that speaks to the flaws in the federal fisheries management system. In the release, NOAA Fisheries declared both an increase in the overall total allowable catch of Gulf red snapper in 2010 and the shortest recreational red snapper season on record, at the same time.
CCA participants hope to see results after meeting with NOAA Fisheries
Outdoorsmen were out in force at the nation’s capital last week as two events in Washington DC were dedicated to how this country manages its wild and natural resources.
Environmental Defense Fund intervenes to thwart CCA catch share lawsuit
Seeking to defend a controversial catch share program for Gulf grouper, the Environmental Defense Fund has been allowed to intervene in a lawsuit filed by Coastal Conservation Association in federal district court that challenges the adoption and implementation of Amendment 29 to the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Management Plan.
Coastal Conservation Association believes the enforcement issue alone should be a permanent deterrent to the reintroduction of any fish trap gear in the Gulf of Mexico and urges NOAA Fisheries Service to reject this application for an exempted fishing permit.
Overwhelmed agency incapable of properly implementing law
Passage of the 2006 Magnuson-Stevens Act, the overarching law that manages America’s marine fisheries, revealed crippling deficiencies within the agency charged with implementing the law. Recently, a coalition of marine angling and industry groups launched an effort to improve the National Marine Fisheries Service’s efforts to manage the nation’s marine resources and the 13 million saltwater anglers who depend on healthy fisheries.
The changes made by the Attorney General’s office do not reflect the intent of the initiative, which is to end the non-selective over-harvest of Oregon's native fish runs while maintaining a healthy commercial salmon fishing industry.
Signs pointing to cause for grave concern met with proposal to up commercial harvest
After hearing a litany of significant concerns about the health of the striped bass population presented by its own Technical Committee and by law enforcement personnel, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) Striped Bass Management Board did the last thing anyone expected at its meeting last week - directing staff to draft an addendum to the management plan which would increase the coastal commercial striped bass harvest.
Shortened recreational season brings allocation issue to the forefront
Recreational anglers were cheered earlier this year by news that after decades of federal management, culminating with a two-fish bag limit and a 74-day season in 2009, scientists suddenly announced that the Gulf red snapper stock is no longer undergoing overfishing, which is a significant step on the road to recovery.
Unanimous vote ends misguided effort to reintroduce destructive gear
Like a bad penny, a proposal to re-introduce fish traps as an alternative to longline gear in the Gulf grouper fishery turned up before the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council in December, outraging conservationists and fisheries management veterans who had fought to banish the destructive gear from the Gulf back in the 1990s.
Visionary conservationist helped change the way marine resources are managed
The conservation community lost one of its true visionaries with the passing of Coastal Conservation Association founder Walter W. Fondren III last week in Houston.
Congress directs fisheries managers to address impacts to recreational angling
Coastal Conservation Association applauds the U.S. Congress for recognizing the need to address impacts to recreational angling as a result of the U.S. Catch Share Policy.
Proposal to bring back outlawed gear stuns conservationists
An unusual alliance of environmental groups and commercial longliners is exploring the use of controversial fish traps in the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Fishery, leaving long-time participants in federal fishery management issues surprised at the re-emergence of the highly destructive gear. Fish traps were banned by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council in 1996, but were not fully phased out of the Gulf until 2006.
Coastal Conservation Association is proud to again be one of the beneficiaries of the third Master of the Green Charity Golf Tournament, an annual event organized by KBR to support educational, environmental and health organizations.
Anglers cite lack of faith in federal catch share management of red snapper, grouper
Faced with the unwelcome reality of having two popular recreational fisheries managed by a fundamentally flawed catch share system in the Gulf of Mexico, Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) has taken the rare step of not supporting Gulf state compliance with federal regulations for red snapper and grouper. The decision to support “non-concurrence” with federal regulations is a sign of growing dissatisfaction with federal management policies.
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.
Anglers rally to defeat proposal for commercial sector to kill more fish
Anglers rally to defeat proposal for commercial sector to kill more fish.
Committee seeks CCA’s input on role for recreational fisheries in ocean, coastal stewardship.
An impressive array of the major marine industry, recreational angling and environmental groups co-signed an October 22 letter to Dr. Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the National Atmospheric and Ocean Administration (NOAA), calling for reform of recreational angling data collection by the federal government.
Anglers highlight important warning signs for the conservation of Atlantic striped bass
Recreational anglers are opposing a plan currently before the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) that would increase commercial striped bass harvest.
HOUSTON, TX – After an extensive nationwide search, Coastal Conservation Association selected conservation veteran Patrick Murray as president of the national organization at its meeting last week in Houston.
States unite to request feds better protect citizens' access to public resources
“We have already seen the negative impacts from the Gulf red snapper catch share system and are concerned about negative impacts from the pending program for Gulf grouper,” the governors’ letter stated. “Creating an exclusive harvesting right for a small group of commercial fishermen inherently marginalizes other users who do not have the same access privileges..."
Decision on Gulf amberjack shows federal management on brink of breakdown
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX - The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) continued its bizarre history of biased management regarding Gulf amberjack when it announced this week that the recreational season for the popular offshore species will close on October 24 due to the recreational sector overfishing its quota. This announcement comes barely two years after the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council arbitrarily shifted a significant portion of recreational allocation to the commercial sector.
NOAA Administrator announces support for strongest possible conservation measures
“This is an important step in the right direction, but much work remains to ensure a recovery for bluefin,” said Chester Brewer, chairman of CCA’s National Government Relations Committee. “I am thrilled to see the Administration send a clear message to the international community that it cannot continue its failed history of management for such an important species. The conservation of bluefin tuna has to be addressed.”
Task Force omission of recreational angling a glaring flaw
A recently issued report of the White House Interagency Ocean Task Force has caused widespread concern among America’s recreational anglers. Released just weeks after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) promised to take a “fresh look” at the federal agency’s relationship with recreational anglers, the Interim Report threatens to fast-track sweeping reforms for the management of resources in federal waters, but fails to recognize – or even mention – the conservation, economic or social contributions of recreational angling.
Angler concerns over catch shares, aquaculture gaining traction
The pace and breadth of federal oceans and fisheries policies have caused apprehension in the angling community in recent months, but a pair of amendments to a Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill filed by Sen. David Vitter (R-La) last week signals that some elected officials are concerned as well. The amendments, proposed as part of spending bill HR 2847, would force the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration to do new analyses of offshore fish farming and catch-share programs in federal fisheries.
"Fundamentally flawed" catch share program a threat to angling
"In more than 30 years of practice in fisheries law, I have not seen a more arbitrary action than this one,” said Robert G. Hayes, CCA general counsel. CCA has asked for an expedited hearing and expects the government to answer the lawsuit within the next 60 days. “We are going to proceed as quickly as the court will allow to prevent the implementation of this egregious decision.”
International impasse leaves bluefin on the brink
Citing the failure of the international community to rein in harvest of bluefin tuna, Coastal Conservation Association is urging the United States to proceed with an effort to list the Atlantic bluefin on Appendix I to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and prohibit the international trade in bluefin.
CCA seeks guidelines for opening areas, disaster relief for impacted businesses
If the federal government is going to impose significant closures that will negatively impact recreational anglers and related businesses in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, then it is vital for the government to develop a real exit strategy from this terrible situation. CCA is calling for specific, measurable criteria to determine when the objective of this plan will be met and recreational fishermen will be allowed to resume catching bottom fish.
HOUSTON, Texas - David Cummins, after a long and successful career with the Coastal Conservation Association, has decided to resign his position to pursue other opportunities.
Approval of grouper giveaway pushes recreational anglers to the brink
Approval of grouper giveaway pushes recreational anglers to the brink
Controversial paper accomplished goals by shining light on red snapper management failures
Controversial paper accomplished goal by shining light on red snapper management failures.
CCA questions federal program of resource giveaways
CCA questions federal program of resource giveaways.
$4.5 million federal grant to speed removal of derelict fishing gear from Puget Sound
The marine resources of Puget Sound received a tremendous boost yesterday when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the Northwest Straits Commission will receive a $4.5 million grant to remove derelict gill nets lost or discarded in Puget Sound. Since its inception in 2006, Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) Washington has strongly supported funding for the Northwest Straits Commission and has lobbied federal and state officials to take action to remove these silent killers.
Unprecedented fisheries disaster in South Atlantic needs calculated response
“We need a scalpel, not a sledge hammer to manage this species. Massive bottom closures just do not fit the unique circumstances of this extraordinary case,” said Brame. “Anglers are willing to do their part and accept extensive regulations to keep marine resources healthy whenever necessary, but any proposals to close all bottom fishing should be the management tool of absolute last resort.”
CCA Program sponsored by Valero Energy Corp. seeks to bring conservation into classroom
HOUSTON, TX - The Texas Outdoor Writers Association (TOWA) selected the CCA/Valero Rising Tide youth program as the winner of its Special Projects/Conservation award at its 2009 annual convention. At a time when far more kids are texting than casting, the recognition by Texas outdoor writers emphasizes just how critical the need is to get students more involved in protecting the marine environment. CCA and Valero Energy Corp combined efforts to create this multi-media youth outreach and education program.
CCA reorganizes to prepare for more growth.
When Walter W. Fondren III assumed the chairmanship of the fledgling Gulf Coast Conservation Association in 1977, it was a single-chapter organization concerned with a single issue – the “Save the Redfish” campaign near and dear to the hearts of Texas anglers. When he stepped down as chairman at the CCA Board of Directors meeting in March 2009, he left an organization that has grown to 17 state chapters on all three coasts with more than 100,000 members involved in issues at the local, state, national and even international levels of marine conservation.
Research indicates red snapper stocks may be in better shape than previously thought.
A new study by Dr. Bob Shipp, head of marine sciences at the University of South Alabama, and Dr. Steve Bortone, the new executive director of the Gulf Council, suggests that red snapper stocks in the Gulf of Mexico are far from decimated.
Gulf Council tackles longlines, but fumbles future of grouper fishery.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council engaged in buffet-style fisheries management at its latest meeting in Mississippi, picking and choosing data to plot a dubious course of action for the Gulf grouper fishery.
CCA-funded study shows value of 100 percent recreational allocation.
In an important development in the debate over the proper management of gag and red grouper in the Gulf of Mexico, a newly released economic study of the fishery finds that a 100 percent allocation to the recreational sector would yield maximum economic value to society.
From the South Atlantic to the western Pacific, federal marine management is a study in contrasts.
The United States has acted twice this week to impose restrictions on vast sections of ocean, dictating the future accessibility of those important resources. One action took years of scientific study and required dozens of public meetings attended by hundreds of concerned citizens, and thousands of hours of effort and organization before being implemented. The other took just months and was accomplished by the stroke of a pen. Taken together, the two recent marine management actions have cast a confusing net over the world of federal fisheries management.
Lawsuit challenging snapper/grouper data upholds concept of best available science for fisheries management.
WASHINGTON DC – A recent United States Court of Appeals ruling rejected arguments by the commercial fishing industry to overturn regulations designed to end overfishing of snowy grouper and other deep-water species, confirming again that the best available science provides the only viable basis for management of the nation’s marine resources.
Longliners seek extension and expansion of permits to fish in conservation zones.
Alarmed at the growing prospect of “longline creep,” conservationists are calling on the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to deny a request to extend and expand Exempted Fishing Permits issued in 2008 that cracked open the door for the commercial longline industry to fish in conservation zones created in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.
MONTGOMERY, AL – Plans for an open-loop liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility 63 miles south of Mobile were shelved by TORP Technologies last week when Gov. Bob Riley voiced concerns that the possible benefits of the plant did not outweigh the risks to the state’s coastal environment.
WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush has again highlighted the importance of recreational angling to the country by signing an Executive Order that ensures federal agencies will manage fishing as sustainable activity in all federal waters, including marine protected areas (MPAs). The Order signed on Sept. 26, 2008, modifies Executive Order 12962 signed by President Bill Clinton in 1995.
HOUSTON, TX - A recent peer review of the summer flounder assessment indicates that the stock appears to be responding well to recent reductions in total allowable catch and is on track to meet a rebuilding deadline set for 2013. The review is a welcome piece of news for the stock, which has been the subject of much scrutiny in recent years.
LAS VEGAS, NV – Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) was among several prominent marine conservation, boating and tackle industry associations gathered to announce the creation of the Center for Coastal Conservation (the Center) at the ICAST show in Las Vegas this week. The Center has been built to participate directly in elective politics and promote the conservation ideals of recreational angling to the lawmakers who make many of the key decisions in fisheries management.
HOUSTON, TX – The Coastal Conservation Association Board of Directors is calling for Atlantic harvest levels of bluefin tuna to be reduced to levels supported by science and is urging the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) to require all member nations to adopt such quotas by emergency action.
PACIFIC NORTHWEST – Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) is pleased to announce that Heath Heikkila has joined its advocacy team to provide strategic guidance and counsel to CCA chapters in Washington and Oregon. He joins a veteran CCA national advocacy team that includes Robert G. Hayes, general counsel, Richen Brame, Atlantic States Fisheries Director, Dr. Russell Nelson, Gulf Fisheries Consultant, and Matt Paxton, federal lobbyist.
Remarks focus on need for market controls to combat IUU fishing
WASHINGTON, DC – CCA General Counsel Robert G. Hayes testified before the House Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans today, and called on Congress to initiate agreements to control the international markets for seafood to put an end to IUU fishing.
Executive Order creates legacy of conservation
ST. MICHAELS, MD - Surrounded by conservationists and anglers on the shores of historic Chesapeake Bay, President Bush today signed an Executive Order establishing gamefish status for red drum and striped bass in federal waters. The Order is a landmark victory for recreational anglers who have fought for decades to restore and conserve two of the most coveted sport fish in America.
Gulf Council considers plan to reward commercial sector for overfishing amberjack
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has declared that Gulf greater amberjack are overfished and is considering increasing the commercial share of the fishery and reducing the recreational bag limit to one fish for every two anglers aboard a vessel. The recreational restrictions are being considered despite the fact that unchecked commercial overfishing since 1990 is the primary cause of problems in the fishery.
National Marine Fisheries Service denies request to open key conservation areas to commercial longlines
WASHINGTON, DC - Conservationists are hailing a decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to deny a request to allow longline fishing boats into conservation zones off South Carolina, Georgia and Florida that have been closed to the destructive commercial fishing gear since 2001.
The bill for decades of overharvest has come due in the form of an overfished summer flounder stock
The most recent summer flounder stock assessment brought some unwelcome news to East Coast anglers last week and will almost certainly result in additional catch reductions for recreational fishermen. The assessment, conducted by National Marine Fisheries Service, indicated that years of mismanagement have finally caught up to summer flounder, and steps will have to be taken to set the recovery back on course.
North America’s largest refiner offers three-year commitment to youth angler outreach and education program
SAN ANTONIO, TX – Coastal Conservation Association and Valero Energy Corporation have teamed up to promote conservation ethics in young anglers. Through a dynamic youth program that will include an eye-catching newsletter, interactive web site, and conservation-oriented school lesson plans, Valero and CCA will work to capture the enthusiasm of children and encourage them to understand and protect the coastal landscape.
CCA-funded study will examine effectiveness of recreational catch-and-release practices
HOUSTON, TX – Less than a month after winning a precedent-setting victory to reduce the impact of shrimp trawl bycatch on Gulf red snapper stocks, Coastal Conservation Association has funded the next step in its ongoing strategy for the conservation of the fishery. CCA Texas approved a request to fund a study at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute to assess the catch-and-release mortality of recreationally caught red snapper and to develop best practices for handling and proper release.
Fisheries management council thwarts commercial industry efforts to exploit Atlantic pelagic species
KEY WEST, FL - The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted last week to recommend that the National Marine Fisheries Service deny an application to allow pelagic longline fishing boats into conservation zones off South Carolina, Georgia and Florida that have been closed to this destructive commercial fishing gear since 2001.
HOUSTON, TX – One person’s trash really is another person’s treasure.
CCA lawsuit forces reform, sets snapper on road to recovery
NEW ORLEANS – The most significant bycatch reduction measures ever imposed on the Gulf of Mexico shrimp fleet were announced today, paving the way for a steady recovery of Gulf red snapper stocks. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council voted to put limitations on the shrimp industry despite its persistent position denying any responsibility for the current status of the red snapper fishery.
Officers and Directors elected to lead fast-growing Pacific Northwest CCA chapters
WOODLAND, WA - Not long ago, a group of concerned anglers from Oregon and Washington with an urgent need to take a more active role in the management of their marine resources contacted Coastal Conservation Association. Just six months later, CCA Washington and CCA Oregon are officially open for business and proud to announce the election of officers and directors to lead the attack on a variety of conservation issues in the region, particularly salmon.
HOUSTON, TX – Conservationists are expressing concern over a recent course of action taken by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that could significantly roll back and delay conservation measures for threatened billfish stocks. NMFS has elected to delay a regulation requiring circle hooks for billfish tournaments until 2008 and is considering allowing longlingers into conservation zones that have been closed to industrial fishing since 2001.
Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) is pleased to announce that Matthew Paxton, most recently senior counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, has joined the CCA advocacy team to provide key lobbying support and counsel.
Coastal Conservation Association praised yesterday’s announcement by Shell US Gas & Power LLC to abandon plans for an open-loop liquefied natural gas terminal in the Gulf of Mexico as a victory for marine resource conservation.
Decision creates coast-to-coast conservation association
HOUSTON, TX –Coastal Conservation Association, the nation’s largest marine resource conservation group, announced today that the organization will expand its operations to the U.S. Pacific Northwest to address a variety of conservation issues, including problems within the salmon fishery.
HOUSTON, TX – In a stunning repudiation of the National Marine Fisheries Service’s rebuilding plan for red snapper, a federal judge ruled yesterday that NMFS violated the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act by its continuing failure to take timely and appropriate steps to rebuild red snapper stocks in the Gulf of Mexico or to regulate the harm to red snapper caused by shrimp fishing.
Gulf red snapper fishery faces strict regulation at the hand of National Marine Fisheries Service
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has announced drastic regulation changes for Gulf red snapper that will have profound impacts on recreational anglers, charterboat operators, commercial fishermen and the shrimp industry. After years of mismanagement, federal fisheries managers paint a grim picture for the future of this fishery.
The International Game Fish Association has named Coastal Conservation Association as a recipient of its prestigious Conservation Award, established to honor organizations that have made significant and outstanding contributions to the cause of conservation in the freshwater, saltwater and fly fishing communities.
HOUSTON, TX – As proper conservation measures succeed in rebuilding swordfish stocks in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) is calling for a series of additional steps to ensure that the future of this important species is secure – and that a renewed, exciting recreational fishery is assured.