Recreational appointments shift Gulf Council closer to balance
The 2010 regional fishery management council appointments released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Commerce gave an indication that federal officials are paying attention to the concerns of recreational anglers. One of the key issues voiced by anglers at the Recreational Fishing Summit hosted by NOAA Fisheries in April was a need for balanced representation on the councils, and appointments made to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council yesterday are a solid step in the right direction.
“I think everyone who attended the summit made it clear that its ultimate success would be determined by what steps NOAA Fisheries took as a result,” said Pat Murray, CCA president. “The appointments to the Gulf Council are a good indication that federal managers are acting on the recommendations they heard from the recreational angling community at the summit.”
Each year NOAA’s Fisheries Service solicits nominations from the governors of fishing states, and oversees the annual appointment process. The Secretary of Commerce must select council members from the list of nominees provided by the governors. The Gulf Council includes members from the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, and the appointees for 2010 fill obligatory seats for Texas and Mississippi and one at-large seat.
“There is still work to do on the other regional management Councils to get them closer to balanced representation for anglers, but the announcement yesterday is good progress in the Gulf,” said Murray. “NOAA Fisheries has clearly stated that they intend to forge a new relationship with the recreational angling community, and this indication of that effort is positive.”
CCA is the largest marine resource conservation group of its kind in the nation. With almost 100,000 members in 17 state chapters, CCA has been active in state, national and international fisheries management issues since 1977. Visit www.JoinCCA.org for more information.