In Case You Missed It - May 8, 2015 News

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ASMFC Initiates Amendment 3 To Protect Atlantic Menhaden As Forage

From Ken Hinman, President of Wild Oceans: On May 5th, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission had one foot in the past and one in the future. At the same meeting where it approved a modest increase in the coast-wide quota based on an out-moded single-species stock assessment, the Menhaden Management Board voted unanimously to amend its 15-state menhaden plan with revised abundance targets and fishing limits, known as “ecological reference points,” that will more fully protect this critical forage fish’s role in the Atlantic coastal ecosystem. Faced with a new stock assessment showing menhaden are no longer “overfished” in terms of supporting a commercial fishery, and under intense pressure from industry to respond by relaxing catch restrictions, the ASMFC Menhaden Management Board agreed to raise the coast-wide quota by 10% for 2015 and 2016. But citing concerns that the single-species assessment does not account for the needs of a wide range of dependent predators, along with recognition that real advances have been made in science-based approaches to conserving forage species, the Board initiated Amendment 3 to establish ecosystem-based catch limits by the 2017 fishing season. "We are very disappointed in the commission for not maintaining current catch levels. In the big picture, however, the modest increase in quota for two years is less important than the Board finally committing to a definite process and timeline for adopting ecological reference points," says Wild Oceans president Ken Hinman, a conservation representative on the Board's advisory panel. "I view the catch increase as the final act under the old rules, one last nod to the past before we step into the future, where we will take care of the needs of menhaden's predators first, before we allocate to the fishery. That future is closer now than ever before." Amendment 3, which will be developed over the next two years with plenty of opportunity for public input, will not only address how menhaden are allocated between the fishery and the ecosystem, the priority for the vast majority of the ASMFC’s constituents from Maine to Florida, but will also revisit allocation between the reduction and bait fisheries and among the states. Currently, one industry, Omega Protein, receives 80% of the quota and one state, Virginia, 85% of the total.
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Lost Opportunity for State Management of Red Snapper

From CCA: Legislation to transfer management of Gulf red snapper away from the federal government and allow the Gulf States to manage the fishery entirely was narrowly rejected last week during a hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee. The state management amendment was one of many being considered by the Committee during the mark up of HR 1335, a bill to reauthorize the Magnuson Stevens Act sponsored by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska). With the support of the Chairman of the Committee and the sponsor of the bill, the state management amendment was offered by Rep. Garrett Graves (R-La.) to implement the recommendations of the five Gulf state directors to bring an innovative solution to the long-standing chaos of federal red snapper management. Unfortunately, in negotiations leading up to the vote and even during the hearing itself, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) vigorously opposed the state management amendment and promoted his own amendment that will tweak some aspects of snapper management but will ultimately maintain it under federal control and lock in status quo for the fishery. "On the same day that NOAA Fisheries announces a 10-day private recreational season and 44-day charter/for-hire season, Congressman Byrne successfully lobbied the Committee to leave the federal system largely intact. This is truly a lost opportunity to finally correct the chaotic management and privatization of red snapper," said Bill Bird, chairman of CCA's National Government Relations Committee. "Congressman Graves' amendment had the full support of the chairman, the manager of the bill and the Gulf states themselves. It is just disappointing to miss this chance to rectify decades of mismanagement due in large part to the efforts of the congressman from Alabama." In an email the night before the hearing, Byrne's office urged Committee members to reject the state-based management plan, stating that "if such an amendment were enacted it would drastically affect the Red Snapper management structure while leaving a great deal of uncertainty for all sectors involved." During the hearing itself, Rep. Byrne began by deriding federal management, calling its science deplorable and stating that he wanted a solution as badly as anyone in the room. "But this (Graves) amendment won't get us there because it pits one part of the fishery against another which guarantees we won't be able to get it to the floor for a vote," Byrne said. "It also takes things completely away from the federal government without having a well-thought-out substitute in its place." "I'm not sure how closely Congressman Byrne has been following red snapper, but federal management has already pitted parts of this fishery against the others. NOAA is actively promoting privatizationschemes for some sectors and is already overseeing a system that is producing this year a 10-day private recreational sector season, a 44-day charter/for-hire sector season and a year-round commercial season," said Ted Venker, CCA Conservation Director. "This is a disaster decades in the making, and one that many elected officials have spent many years trying to unravel. The time for half-measures and tweaks to federal management is long past." The recreational community remains committed to the concept of state management for Gulf red snapper and will continue working with Congressman Graves and others to see the concept fully implemented.
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Protect our Oceans Florida Specialty License Plate to Support The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation

With hundreds of thousands of boaters, divers and fishermen populating and enjoying Florida’s coastlines—the largest coastline in the continental US— renowned marine artist Guy Harvey has designed a new state specialty license plate to remind all of us to “Protect Our Oceans.” Now available to Florida’s motorists is Harvey’s new Florida Specialty Plate featuring a colorful design of the state’s most popular saltwater sportfish—The Dorado or also known as Mahi Mahi. "The Dorado inspired Protect Our Oceans license plate replaces our original specialty license plate Catch Me, Release Me that featured a leaping Blue Marlin," said Steve Stock, President of Guy Harvey, Inc., based in South Florida. "It's part of our ongoing program to promote different conservation messages and fish species." The purpose of Florida’s Specialty Plates is to raise funds for a particular cause. In the case of the Protect Our Oceans plate, a portion of the yearly plate registration goes to support the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF), whose core mission is to fund marine science research, conservation and bolster education programs for children and young adults. Florida Specialty License Plates can be purchased when renewing vehicle registration or when purchasing a new vehicle. For an online ordering go to www.myfloridaspecialtyplate.com.
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University of Miami's Tarpon & Bonefish Research Center

University of Miami's Tarpon & Bonefish Research Center evolving research on satellite‐tagging and tracking of tarpon over the past decade has provided unprecedented insights into the mysteries of tarpon migrations. These space‐age tags attached to the backs of tarpon continuously gather data on the fish's position and corresponding water temperature, depth, light-level, salinity , which revealed that the tarpon populations in the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, and the southeastern U.S. are interconnected. Recently, physical scientists have discovered the exceptional value of this same animal‐derived environmental data. Each day, hurricane scientists like UM's Tarpon & Bonefish Research Center UM colleague Professor Nick Shay, plot the depth and position of the 26°C isotherm—a zone of warm ocean water equal to 78.8°F, known as ocean heat content (OHC). OHC data are extremely useful for forecasting hurricane strength, since hurricanes are known to intensify after passing over pools of warm water that often extend deep into the water column. Thus, it is the depth of the 26°C isotherm that sets the value of OHC. Typically OHC is measured by satellites or profilers deployed from research aircraft flying into tropical storm paths. They discovered from UM's Tarpon & Bonefish Research Center satellite tagging data that tarpon adhere to the 26°C isotherm during their annual migrations through the Gulf of Mexico, coastal Atlantic and Caribbean Sea. The beauty of tarpon is that they provide data in coastal areas where satellite OHC measurements aren't reliable. By using tagged‐tarpon to gather temperature and depth data about the 26°C isotherm, they could essentially fill in the gaps in OHC coverages currently not available. The fish in other words could help scientists build more accurate ocean‐atmosphere models to predict hurricane intensity. UM's Tarpon & Bonefish Research Center findings on tarpon have since led to “deeper” discoveries of hidden connections bettheyen OHC and migrations of other species, including yellowfin and bluefin tuna, white and blue marlin, and tiger sharks. As crazy as it may sound, Dr. Jerald Ault is now involved in implementation efforts of a national Animal Telemetry Network (ATN) with a host of federal agencies and ocean scientists that will use data from 1000's of tagged fish to reliably map the ocean environment in real‐time. These new observations will provide essential data for improved modeling of ocean dynamics, defining critical ocean habitats, and sustaining their fisheries.
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West Marine Launches “Deck Out Dad!” Contest

West Marine, one of the world’s largest waterlife retailers, today announced its 2015 “Deck Out Dad” promotion.This Father’s Day, West Marine is looking for the dad most in need of a waterlife makeover. By spreading the word on social media – Instagram, Facebook and Twitter – West Marine is encouraging folks to share photos of fathers who could benefit from a $500 West Marine gift card. Maybe dad will upgrade his fishing gear to better enable him to catch dinner – or just update his casual attire so he doesn’t embarrass the family at a favorite seafood restaurant. He might need foul weather gear that doesn’t leak or a lifejacket that doesn’t look like it survived World War II. He might even want to spend it on supplies to finish up that boat project he started last season. Whether the dad in your life is incredibly makeover-worthy or just a little too frugal, we want to hear why he deserves to win new gear from West Marine. “There are a lot of people who love being out on the water with their dads – even if their dad could use a makeover,” says Deb Radcliff, Senior Vice President of Marketing for West Marine. “The contest is a fun way to share photos of friends and families who enjoy spending time together on the water.” CONTEST DETAILS Contest Dates: May 11–June 19, 2015. The winner will be announced the week after Father's Day. **Entry Process: **Photos should be posted on Instagram, tagged to West Marine and include the hashtags #westmarine #deckoutdad. Captions should include info on why the dad is deserving and/or needing a makeover. **Judging Criteria: **Photos can be funny or sentimental, and preference will be given to those taken on or near the water. They could be on a boat, walking along the beach or at a waterside restaurant. Or, even at West Marine! Winner Notification: The winning entrant will be asked to visit a West Marine store to pick up their $500 gift card, and must agree to a brief photo shoot that shows them shopping. (What he buys is up to him.) He must also agree to use of the photos (before and after) for West Marine promotional purposes.
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Yamaha Marine Announces “Wake Up the Season” Sales Event

Yamaha Marine Group announced the “Wake Up the Season” sales event, a promotion that offers consumers up to $500 in dealer credit toward the purchase of goods and/or services when they purchase a select new eligible Yamaha four-stroke outboard. “Now is the time to invest in Yamaha power,” said Dale Barnes, Division Manager, Marketing, Yamaha Marine Group. “The ‘Wake Up the Season’ sales event kicks off the busy boating season by offering customers great built-in value with the purchase of our most popular four-stroke outboard models.” The “Wake Up the Season” sales event offer is available from May 1, 2015, until June 17, 2015. The promotion applies to new select, eligible Yamaha 2.5-to-115 horsepower four-stroke outboards and provides the purchasing consumer up to a $500 credit based on MSRP towards the purchase of goods and/or services available at the authorized participating Yamaha Outboard dealer that sold the outboard at no extra cost to the purchasing consumer. The following four-stroke 8hp and 115hp models are not eligible for this promotion: F8SMHB, F8LMHB and VF115LA. Additional terms and conditions apply. Consumers should see authorized participating Yamaha outboard dealers for complete details. Yamaha Marine products are marketed throughout the United States and around the world. Yamaha Marine Group, based in Kennesaw, Ga., supports its 2,000 U.S. dealers and boat builders with marketing, training and parts for Yamaha's full line of products and strives to be the industry leader in reliability, technology and customer service. Yamaha Marine is the only outboard brand to have earned NMMA®'s C.S.I. Customer Satisfaction Index award every year since its inception. Visit www.yamahaoutboards.com. ***PROGRAM TERMS AND CONDITIONS: **Consumer benefit for purchasing a new (unused not previously warranty registered) eligible Yamaha 2.5 to 115 HP four-stroke outboard is a credit based on MSRP toward the purchase of goods and/or services at the authorized, participating dealer that sold the outboard, at no extra cost to consumer. NO BENEFIT SUBSTITUTIONS. The following four-stroke 8hp and 115hp models are NOT eligible for this Promotion: F8SMHB, F8LMHB and VF115LA. To be eligible, outboards must also have been manufactured since April 2007. Promotion is only applicable from authorized participating Yamaha Outboard dealers in the U.S.A. sold to purchasing consumers residing in the U.S.A. Promotion is limited to available stock in dealer inventory that is sold, PDI completed, delivered and warranty registered on YMBS by the dealer in accordance with Yamaha’s promotion and warranty registration requirements during applicable dates. No model substitutions, benefit substitutions, extensions or rain checks will be allowed. Outboards sold or provided for commercial, camp, resort, rental, promotional/demo, government agency, competition, tournament or sponsorship use are not eligible. This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other Yamaha offer. Some exceptions may apply. See authorized, participating Yamaha dealer for complete details. Yamaha reserves the right to change or cancel this promotion at any time. Other restrictions and conditions apply.