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Posted on Apr 12, 2012 in Top Shots
What's Wrong With This Picture?
by Doug Olander

Gulf of Maine cod in the Northeast are in serious decline (according to a peer-reviewed 2011 assessment), so we'll give fishermen an increase in the quota expected per that assessment of 1,500 metric tons by nearly 450 percent to 6,700 metric tons.

Meanwhile, in the Gulf of Mexico, assessments show red snapper rebounding, and almost any fishing trip shows the Gulf absolutely lousy with them. So we'll give deny recreational fishermen more than a miserable 40-day season with a bag limit of just two red snapper per day.

What's wrong with this picture?
   
That's what a Coastal Conservation Association blog wonders as well, pondering the inexplicable discrepancy.
   
This isn't to say that an increase in the Gulf of Maine catch from just 1,500 metric tons to avoid a disastrous season isn't justified. But then how in the hell can NOAA Fisheries deny the red snapper fishery the same sort of flexibility it called upon to effect that increase?
   
When this Administration put together its team for NOAA Fisheries headed by Jane Lubchenco, I was among many who had high hopes that things just might improve. But for recreational fishermen, the disappointments and disparities in many fisheries-management decisions as well as how they're handled and communicated are ongoing.
   
The millions of saltwater anglers in this country deserve better.