Posts Tagged ‘Gulf governors’
CCA applauds Gulf governors’ efforts on behalf of recreational anglers
Red snapper season in the Gulf is just around the corner, and if Texas Gov. Rick Perry and other Gulf state governors have their way, it will be a bit longer than anyone expected. In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon spill last summer, the recreational angling sector fell short of catching its quota of red snapper by almost one-third. Gov. Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott have all presented letters to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council urging that more than one million pounds of red snapper uncaught in 2010 be added to the 2011 season.
“We are writing to urge the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to recommend adding the 2010 uncaught recreational quota for red snapper to the 2011 quota to increase the projected length of the season,” Gov. Scott writes. “Given the present economic condition of Florida, we believe the addition of this quota, and the extension of the season, would provide a much needed economic boost to this region that is still recovering from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.”
“I acknowledge the red snapper population is currently being rebuilt and understand the strict calculations used in setting commercial and recreational quotas,” Gov. Perry writes. “As such, I ask that you consider the region’s economic recovery and health of the fishery in considering my request. By building on the leftover 2010 quota, I believe we are satisfying both requirements, and I look forward to your swift and favorable action.”
Red snapper are an exceptionally popular sportfish, and have been the subject of federal management for more than two decades. After years of frustration, setbacks and sacrifice for recreational anglers, the population of red snapper is on a steady path to recovery, although strict rebuilding guidelines are still in effect to reach rebuilding goals set by fisheries managers. The red snapper season in 2010 was the shortest on record at just 53 days, even though anglers almost universally report a booming red snapper fishery in the Gulf.
“We are truly grateful to Gov. Perry and his staff for standing up for recreational anglers on this issue,” said CCA Texas Executive Director Robby Byers. “He is exactly on target – we need to be mindful of the health of the fishery, but with the underage from last year and the robust recovery our members are witnessing in the Gulf, it would be a tremendous boost to the region to create more opportunities for angling offshore. Gov. Perry continues to be an excellent friend to Texas’ anglers.”
Governor Rick Scott’s Letter
Governor Rick Perry’s Letter
Governor Bobby Jindal’s Letter
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. For more information visit the CCA Newsroom at www.JoinCCA.org.
Tags: Gulf governors, red snapper
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CCA recently asked the Gulf state governors to voice their concerns over a rapidly expanding federal program for managing fisheries called a catch-share program, and Gov. Perry of Texas, Gov. Jindal of Louisiana, Gov. Barbour of Mississippi and Gov. Riley of Alabama responded by signing a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke. The letter signed by the governors was a powerful gesture on behalf of recreational anglers. Click HERE to see how recreational anglers have responded with an outpouring of appreciation for the leadership shown by the Gulf governors.
Tags: Catch Shares, Gulf governors
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States unite to request feds better protect citizens’ access to public resources
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, the governors of four Gulf States have outlined their concerns over the potential negative impacts of catch share programs on their states’ economies and how such programs could restrict citizens’ access to fisheries resources that should be shared by all. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Alabama Gov. Bob Riley all signed on to the effort coordinated by Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and the Center for Coastal Conservation (Center) to find a better system to balance the needs of the public.
“We have already seen the negative impacts from the Gulf red snapper catch share system and are concerned about negative impacts from the pending program for Gulf grouper,” the governors’ letter stated. “Creating an exclusive harvesting right for a small group of commercial fishermen inherently marginalizes other users who do not have the same access privileges. In purely commercial fisheries this effect can have both economic and management benefits. But when applied in mixed-use fisheries, recreational anglers are forced to focus their efforts in limited state waters or not participate in the fishery at all. Neither of these outcomes is desirable.”
Center for Coastal Conservation President Jeff Angers said, “This show of unity by the Gulf governors in federal fisheries management highlights growing concern that catch share programs that award fixed percentages of various fisheries to commercial fishers are a threat to the future of recreational angling and to the $24 billion it generates annually for the economies of the five Gulf States.”
“Recreational fishing is an important activity in all of our states, and one that we would like to see continue to grow as a healthy activity for the public. However, we are concerned that NOAA policies could frustrate our ability to do that,” the governors’ letter to Locke said.
CCA has filed a lawsuit in federal district court challenging the adoption and implementation of Amendment 29 to the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Management Plan that gives away a majority share of Gulf grouper to the commercial fishing industry through a catch share program. The Obama Administration has made implementation of catch share programs in federal fisheries a priority, and both CCA and the Center have been working at the state and federal level to oppose their use in fisheries that have a large and growing recreational component.
“Catch shares are a huge concern for recreational anglers, and the governors of the Gulf States obviously share those concerns,” said Patrick Murray, CCA executive vice president. “We are extremely grateful to these elected officials for taking such an extraordinary step to raise the visibility of this issue and protect their citizens’ access to public marine resources.”
Click HERE for a copy of the letter from the Gulf governors to Sec. Locke.
Tags: catch share, Gulf governors
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