Articles about South Atlantic Fisheries
Agency’s fisheries economics report more accurately reflects reality, to the dismay of some.
Conservationists and anglers are applauding the U.S. Senate for passing S. 396, a bill to amend the Billfish Conservation Act of 2012. The bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.); Marco Rubio (R-Fla.); Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Joe Manchin, III (D-W.Va.), passed by a voice vote on October 2, 2017.
Recreational fisheries generate far more economic activity with less impact on marine resources. So why are we still treated as an after-thought by NOAA Fisheries?
Commercial Fishing Collaborative withdraws permit application for catch shares
A controversial exempted fishing permit (EFP) to initiate a commercial privatization program for at least six species of fish in the South Atlantic was shelved this week after widespread public outcry. The announcement that the South Atlantic Commercial Fishing Collaborative, made up of two sitting Council members and one former member, were withdrawing the EFP was made at the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Jekyll Island, Georgia.
The recreational fishing industry hopes for sea change from new administration
Coastal Conservation Association Comments on South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Snapper-Grouper Amendment 43
CCA Comments on Amendment 10 to the Dolphin Wahoo FMP (dolphin) and Amendment 44 to the Snapper Grouper FMP (yellowtail snapper)
Newly introduced marine fisheries legislation approved by the Senate Commerce Committee
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.
CCA Comments on Amendment to Fishery Management Plans for Snapper-Grouper, Golden Crab, and Dolphin and Wahoo
This move would also continue the “lose-lose” scenario facing the angling public, in which accountability measures are imposed if the recreational quota is exceeded, and yet the allowable recreational catch is reallocated if the recreational quota is not achieved.
Recreational fishing and boating community praises Congressional leaders for addressing flawed marine reserve decision
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.
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Public Hearings and Scoping Meetings for Proposed Federal Fisheries Management Measures
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.
National Park Service and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Take Steps to Resolve Access to Biscayne National Park
Recreational boating and fishing community guardedly optimistic but firm on need for General Management Plan changes
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.
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.
KEY LARGO — The agenda for next week's Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission meeting reminds one of that famous Clint Eastwood spaghetti western "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly."
First, the good news: Anglers may soon fish year round for spotted seatrout.
B.A.S.S. joins other fishing organizations to fight anti-fishing plan
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.
Recreational angling community comments on the General Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for Biscayne National Park
The above organizations are pleased to submit the following formal comments on the draft General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (GMP) for Biscayne National Park (BNP). Our organizations represent the overwhelming majority of recreational boating and angling interests in the United States, collectively a $200+ billion industry. We have been closely following the development of the GMP and the Fisheries Management Plan, which will greatly affect anglers and recreational-fishing dependent businesses in the area and have implications for the broader sportfishing community at large.
Cross another species off the bottom-fishing list
Even when anglers on the east coast couldn’t catch red snapper, groupers or vermilion snapper, black sea bass still allowed family level anglers to catch and keep something for dinner.
Self-imposed restrictions forcing South Atlantic Council to close fishery
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.
State provides no money in program that uses donated oyster shells
ATLANTA — A program that’s been credited with helping to stop erosion of intertidal waterways and spawning new oyster beds is dependent on handouts.
INDIAN RIVER LAGOON — On the expansive grassflat between Hook Point and Thumb Point near South Beach in Fort Pierce, the spotted seatrout fishing is known to be pretty darned good at times.
South Carolina retail chain Palmetto Moon is donating $15,000 to two nonprofit, habitat-conservation groups.
CCA Comments on Amendment 18 to the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Fishery Management Plano for the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic
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.
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.
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
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.
CCA's Testimony for the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council January/February 2011 Public Hearing and Scoping Meeting Series on the Comprehensive Catch Share Amendment, Snapper-Grouper Amendment 22 and Snapper Grouper Amendment 24
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
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.
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.
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting in Orlando, Florida
At this point, CCA does not support the adoption of any of the proposed bottom closures in Amendment 17A. We do not believe it is reasonable to support any of the alternatives currently before this Council until the results of the assessment currently underway have been released and are fully analyzed.
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.
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 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.
CCA Comments to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission on Addendum II--Commercial Striped Bass Harvest Rollover
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.
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.
"Have the red snapper stock assessment reviewed again by a panel of stock assessment experts. We are well aware the assessment has been peer reviewed through the SEDAR process and judged to be the best available science, and that the Council’s SSC has concurred in that finding..."
The collapse of the Atlantic weakfish stock is an enigma. For the first time there is no ‘smoking gun’ one can discern that caused the decline. But it is abundantly clear from both anecdotal fishermen’s reports and the most recent stock assessment that the decline is severe and continuing. Most disturbing is the Technical Committees projection that even under a total moratorium the stock will not recover by 2020.
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.”
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.
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.