The following is from Pam Anderson, Pam is the Operations Manager of Captain Anderson Marina on Panama City Beach, Florida. Pam is an advocate for all the fisheries in Florida and is a proponent of fishing rights for all Floridians and Americans. I support Pam and Recreational Fishing Alliance in their efforts to keep America’s fisheries free. I recommend that all contact their local, State, and Federal representatives and ask them to put a stop to the catch share programs being implemented by the President Obama lead NOAA. Rep.Steve Southerland understands how important this is to America and hopefully you will as well.
This is Pam Anderson writing from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting in Tampa. There are about 30-40 folks on the Council including their staff and about 30-40 representatives of the different environmental groups, plus about 10 folks who work in the fishing industry. Most of our fishing folks are back home working their 40 days of Red Snapper season. Hopefully, we will have many anglers writing in to oppose Sector Separation, which is a key topic for NOAA Fisheries and the environmental groups. We must stop Sector Separation which will lead to Catch Shares, as Rep. Steve Southerland puts it, ‘Cap & Trade on Fisheries’. Please encourage all your fishing friends to email their comments asap.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Gulf Council) is now accepting public comment on a variety of fishery management issues, including reef fish allocation, gray triggerfish annual catch limits and annual catch targets, the shallow water grouper closure, and sector separation mechanisms under Reef Fish Amendment 39. The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) and its Forgotten Coast Chapter (RFA-FC) chairman stand opposed to efforts to divide and conquer the recreational fishing community into smaller portions. As RFA-FC Chairman Capt. Tom Adams of Mexico Beach, FL explains, the sector separation plan stands as a precursor to a privatized fishery under catch share mechanisms. “We believe maintaining an open fishery with fair and equitable regulations that sustain the fish and the fishermen is a better method of fisheries management,” Capt. Adams said, adding “we believe management needs to abandon their efforts to promote catch shares and sector separation and focus their efforts and funding on improved stock assessments with more appropriate modeling that will account for the substantial growth of a fishery like red snapper.” While some charter captains have come out in favor of sector separation mechanisms which would break the recreational fish allocations into private and professional ownership, others like Mexico Beach’s Capt. Chip Blackburn say they are “furious” over the issue of dividing the community. “As a charter fisherman with federal permits and almost thirty years in the business this blatant attempt at divide and conquer is disgusting,” Capt. Blackburn is listed as stating at the Gulf Council website. “I as are all my customers totally opposed to sector separation and catch shares.” Capt. Adams and the RFA-FC is encouraging Gulf anglers to stand up in opposition to the sector separation plan proposed by the Gulf Council, where discussions are underway this week in Tampa, FL on possible implementation. “If you fish for a regulated salt water fish in the Gulf, you are a stakeholder and you have a say in the outcome of the regulations,” said Adams who tells anglers and fellow business owners to take a few moments to state their personal opinion on this matter by clicking here. Adams said it can be as simple as typing “I am against implementing Sector Separation for the Gulf of Mexico.”
RFA members are asked to pass this along to their fishing buddies, as comments are needed this week.
Comments from RFA-FC and all Florida members can also be sent to the following Florida representatives on the Gulf Council:
Jessica McCawley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bob Gill (email@example.com)
Larry Abele (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dr. Pam Dana (email@example.com)
To Give Public Comment: Please send your comments!!!
To Read Public Comment:
About Recreational Fishing Alliance
The Recreational Fishing Alliance is a national, grassroots political action organization representing recreational fishermen and the recreational fishing industry on marine fisheries issues. The RFA Mission is to safeguard the rights of saltwater anglers, protect marine, boat and tackle industry jobs, and ensure the long-term sustainability of our Nation’s saltwater fisheries. For more information, call 888-JOIN-RFA or visit www.joinrfa.org.