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January 25, 2011

CCA Action Alert: Dolphin, cobia, and wahoo anglers should be very concerned

Dolphin, cobia, and wahoo anglers should be very concerned

Public hearings and scoping meetings will be held on four separate amendments regarding fisheries management measures proposed for several federally managed species within the South Atlantic region.

Dolphin, cobia, and wahoo anglers should be very concerned.

Volunteers Needed to Attend Hearings and Oppose Elements of the Federal Amendments and support CCA comments and recommendations

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Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit Amendment to establish Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures for species not currently listed as undergoing overfishing as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.  Annual Catch Limits (pounds or number of fish) will be set for species in the snapper grouper management complex as well as dolphin, wahoo.

Comprehensive Catch Shares Amendment (Amendment 21) is being considered to look at options for catch share programs for species currently under management through quotas (except snowy grouper), effort and participation reduction, and endorsement actions. 

Snapper Grouper Amendment 22 explores options for long-term management of red snapper as the stock rebuilds

Snapper Grouper Amendment 24 addresses the mandates of the Magnuson-Stevens Act to end overfishing and rebuild the red grouper stock.

CCA has reviewed the documents and provided comments and recommendations to present at the hearings. Some of the comments in the attachment include.

"It must also be pointed out that we believe 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. As presented here today, this process threatens to damage any faith that the recreational angling community may have that the Council is sincere in its efforts to gather and utilize meaningful input from us."

"For unassessed species, unless there is clear evidence that the stock is declining, the control rule should not limit current harvest. It is absurd to employ an ABC control rule that would require more than a 50 percent reduction in cobia, and significant reductions in wahoo and dolphin, when no problems have been documented with the stock."

"CCA is opposed to catch shares for recreational fisheries. NOAA's own Catch Share Policy states that catch shares are not an appropriate management option for recreational fisheries."

"CCA is alarmed by almost every section in Amendment 22, and believes the entire Amendment should be scrapped. It is our opinion that the Council should go back to the drawing board and start over."

"CCA is alarmed by almost every allocation alternative in Amendment 24. The document still looks exclusively at past landings history as the sole method to set allocations. CCA believes the allocation process should be forward-looking and that managers should make every effort to manage these fisheries to reflect present and future realities, rather than locking in these resources to repeat history. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council should use the criteria set out in the NOAA Catch Share Policy in setting any allocation and use economic value as a key criteria in order to set allocations that achieve the greatest benefit to the country."

Public Hearing Locations

All hearings are from 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.


Monday, January 31 - Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville Marriott Hotel
4670 Salisbury Road,
Jacksonville, FL 32256


Tuesday, February 1 - Cocoa Beach, FL

International Palms Resort
1300 N. Atlantic Avenue,
Cocoa Beach, FL 32931

 
Thursday, February 3 - Key Largo, FL

Key Largo Grande
97000 S. Overseas Highway,
Key Largo, FL 33037

Written public comments will be accepted until February 14, 2011. Please send comments to: safmc@safmc.net in regards to all amendments and scoping documents

 
For more information contact - Ted Forsgren CCA Florida at (850)224-3474 or email
tforsgren@ccaflorida.org