In Case You Missed It - September 25, 2015 News

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

cca mp

CCA Amendment 40 Lawsuit

Coastal Conservation Association's stand against Amendment 40 has now drawn formal opposition from all the groups actively promoting privatization of public marine resources in the Gulf of Mexico. The Charter Fishermen's Association formally intervened on behalf of the federal government's highly controversial plan for Gulf red snapper in May and in recent weeks both the Environmental Defense Fund and the Shareholder Rights Alliance have filed Amicus Briefs in support of the federal government. Standing with CCA is the State of Louisiana, which filed an Amicus Brief in support of recreational anglers in May. "The lines are clearly drawn," said Bill Bird, chairman of CCA's National Government Relations Committee. "The nation's fisheries are facing a united threat from those who seek to severely limit access to public marine resources through privatization schemes. This case may very well determine if this country continues to adhere to the principles of the public trust doctrine in the management of our wildlife resources, or if it will simply allow those resources to be given away to stakeholders that have joined forces to game the system." Amendment 40, also known as sector separation, created a new charter/for-hire sector and reserved a significant percentage of the overall recreational red snapper quota solely for use by the charter/for-hire industry. The measure was narrowly approved by the Gulf Council in October 2014 and resulted in seven representatives to the Council submitting a scathing minority report that was ultimately ignored. CCA filed suit in United States District Court shortly after Amendment 40 was signed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce in April 2015. Amendment 40 resulted in a private-boat recreational angling season of just 10 days in 2015, compared to 44 days for the new charter/for-hire sector. The commercial sector, which already operates under a privatized system known as a catch share program, is allowed to fish year-round. "The Environmental Defense Fund, a select few charter/for-hire operators, and the commercial shareholders are working hand-in-glove to privatize roughly 70 percent of the entire red snapper fishery, and the federal government is facilitating it," said Bird. "The merger of a major environmental group with for-profit harvesters is making a mockery of the federal council system, and we are confident that the court will not allow such flagrant manipulation to continue. " Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for Oct. 28 in New Orleans.

Angler Wins Mercury-Powered Boat After Northwest Salmon Derby Series Finale

A controversial new “Coastal Boat Fee” that would have made Tar Heel State boaters pay the highest state-imposed charges on recreational boats in the nation has died with the passing of the state budget Monday. As part of the North Carolina budget debate, the state’s General Assembly was considering legislation that would have imposed an additional fee on all recreational boats 24 feet and longer used in coastal waters. The fee would have also applied to out-of-state vessels fishing in NC coastal waters. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) and the North Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus rallied boaters and anglers to sink the effort. Read more here.

Dolphinfish Research Program

Don Gates and his crew aboard his boat Killin Time II tagged their 2,000th dolphin this summer, making them the first private boat crew to reach this lofty goal. Read more about it in the latest Dolphinfish Research Program.

Motorguide X5 Trolling Motor With Variable Ratio Steering Wins 2015 Ibex Innovation Award

MotorGuide, a trusted fishing brand that has engineered and built trolling motors and accessories for more than 50 years, recently won the Innovation Award for the Outboard Engines category at the 2015 International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) for its new X5 trolling motor that features Variable Ratio Steering (VRS) technology. The IBEX Innovation Awards, determined by a judges panel of journalists from Boating Writers International (BWI), recognizes “significant contributions in marine industry innovation and product development.” The IBEX judges recognized the exceptional engineering innovation of MotorGuide’s patented VRS technology, which delivers variable steering response and outstanding maneuverability. At the core of the VRS system is a unique elliptical cam that creates two distinct turning speeds: a deliberate speed for precise and subtle steering adjustments in the Primary Angling Zone in front of the boat, and a faster speed when making quick or evasive turns. VRS also virtually eliminates the unpredictable effects of torque steering feedback, so anglers can maintain steering control even in the most challenging conditions. “We’re appreciative that the X5 with VRS was recognized for its innovation,” said Kevin Read, product manager for MotorGuide. “VRS is a significant advancement in trolling motor steering that will enable anglers to precisely maneuver in places where fish like to hide, as well as maintain control in rough water conditions.” The X5 is a tournament-caliber motor with rugged construction and standard Digital Power Management technology that extends battery life up to five times beyond its normal capacity to keep anglers on the water longer. Anglers can purchase X5 this fall from leading retailers and can select from four power levels and three shaft lengths. Sonar transducer is also available.