In Case You Missed It - August 7, 2015 News

Our weekly coverage of the latest industry news, conservation notices and more.

Snapper and Grouper Anglers: Help IGFA Evaluate Best Practices for Releasing Fish

Who: Active Snapper and Group Anglers and Charter boat Captains in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic What: Evaluation of FishSmart “Best Practices” for releasing fish and the use of descending devices Why? Every year, nearly ½ billion saltwater fish are caught by recreational anglers throughout the U.S. with 60% being returned to the water. Improving survival of these fish by even 1% could save 3 million fish annually! Although all fish are important, improving the survival of large spawners in particular can make a big difference to fishing over time. FishSmart – a program of the sportfishing industry, anglers, and fisheries managers – would like you to evaluate the application of “Best Practices” for releasing fish and the use of descending devices for releasing deep caught fish such as snapper and grouper. Information will be used to refine FishSmart Best Practices based on your actual on-the-water experiences and learn more about the actual use of descending devices. Participants will receive a FREE SeaQualizer descending device. We would like you to use the SeaQualizer and provide information about your experience with the device. As an added benefit, Charter operators will have the option of receiving free advertising for your charter business through www.takemefishing.org, which is visited by nearly 9 million people each year. We hope that you will participate in this project. It’s through anglers such as you, companies such as SeaQualizer and the FishSmart program that we can improve the future of fishing. How? See if you qualify and register for your free device! Questions? Email [info@fishsmart.org](mailto: info@fishsmart.org).

Project Bay Bones

Do you fish for bonefish in south Florida? If you do, then we need your help. Bonefish and Tarpon Trust has partnered with researchers at Florida International University to create PROJECT BAY BONES to investigate changes in South Florida waters and how these changes may affect the quality of bonefishing. We need your help to fill in critical knowledge gaps on how bonefishing has changed in south Florida over the years. In the absence of scientific data on the health of bonefish populations, angler knowledge is an invaluable source of information. Thus, public participation is vital to the conservation of bonefish and to ensuring high quality fishing in the future! You can help us by filling in a 10-15 minute survey and telling us about your fishing experiences. This survey is different than previous surveys on the bonefish fishery because it is tied into a larger study that is examining environmental changes in South Florida over time. Bringing all of these data sets together should help us better understand bonefish. Click here to take the survey.

Angler Wrangler HoeDown Fundraiser to be Held at the Bergeron Ranch Sat. Oct. 3

The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and "Ladies, Let's Go Fishing!" invite outdoor enthusiasts to attend the Angler Wrangler HoeDown, a western style fundraiser Saturday, Oct. 3, 5:30-8:30 pm at Alligator Ron Bergeron's Green Glades Ranch in Weston, FL. The event is hosted by J.R. Bergeron of Bergeron Land Development and Bergeron Emergency Services. Featuring the Otter John Wild Animal Show, appetizer contest, dinner and an auction/raffle, the event will be held at the acclaimed western saloon on the private, 8,000 acre ranch. [Read more here.]

GCLC Congratulates The U.S. House For Passing H.R. 774 - Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015

From the Gulf Coast Leadership Council: The United States House of Representatives took a stand against foreign illegal fishermen who poach fish in our sovereign waters - many of whom are often engaged in other transnational crimes such as drug running and human trafficking. The House of Representatives made it abundantly clear they support coastal business and understand the plight of the American fishermen. Ending foreign illegal fishing is critical to supporting the coastal economy as well as protecting our well managed fishing populations. Congressman Randy Weber (R-TX-14), one of the earliest cosponsors of this legislation stated, “H.R. 774 is a common-sense solution that will strengthen enforcement by providing the necessary tools and resources to protect local fishermen and coastal businesses from the detrimental economic impacts caused by foreign illegal fishing.” Congressman David Jolly (R-FL-13), another early cosponsor added, “Illegal fishing from foreign vessels is a direct threat to the livelihood of thousands of hardworking Americans along the Gulf coast as well as the quality of life throughout our Bay area communities. This bill will strengthen enforcement mechanisms against those who illegally fish our waters and will protect this important resource for our recreational, commercial, and charter boat fisherman.” It is important the United States Senate take up action on H.R. 774 in order to help keep suspected foreign illegal fishermen and illegally caught fish out of U.S. ports, and protect domestic fishermen and coastal businesses from the detrimental economic impacts caused by foreign illegal fishing. The House did its job. It is time for the Senate to finish it. GCLC would like to especially thank Congressional House Members from the Gulf Coast who recognized this growing problem and served as co-sponsors of H.R. 774: Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL-5), Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL-1), Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL-14), Rep. Curt Clawson (R-FL-19), Rep. John Culberson (R-TX-7), Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL-26), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25), Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX- 27), Rep. David W. Jolly (R-FL-13), Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX-10), Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX- 2), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-27), Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX-21), Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX-14), and Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX-25).