ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND, BULLYING FISHERMEN AND COMMUNITIES OVER CATCH SHARES
Gulf of Mexico, November 24, 2009:
A radical environmental group is trying to influence fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. All five Gulf Governors sent a letter to Secretary of Commerce Locke objecting to catch shares for the recreational sector and expressing concern over the red snapper commercial IFQ (catch share) that is in place in the Gulf. They did this out of concern for their constituents and small businesses.
The Governors wrote, “We are concerned that in the desire to adopt and implement catch share systems NOAA has forgotten its most fundamental responsibility under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to maximize the net economic value from the use of a public resource. 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.
They also asked Secretary Locke to allow them the ability to protect their citizen’s access to public fishery resources and assure proper allocation of the resource in advance of implementing any catch share program. This was in regard to the grouper commercial IFQ program that is in line to be implemented in January of next year.
The Environmental Defense Fund is anti fishing and have become the bullies on the water with their seemingly unlimited budget. They continue to eliminate people from fisheries and by further dividing sectors it allows them to herd out the weakest sub-sector and then eliminate them bit by bit. In the Gulf they have convinced a small minority (less than 7%) of the federally permitted recreational charter boats to support separating from the recreational anglers who fish on their back decks.
Now radical activists of Environmental Defense are bullying people and trying to get them to sign an EDF petition stating that the five Governors made a mistake in writing this letter to the Secretary. The Governor’s stood up on behalf of their constituents and coastal communities in a public forum through proper channels. EDF continues back door under the table tactics that ultimately takes away anglers rights to their resources.
On November 15, 2009 Dr. Damon Cummings had a letter to the editor published in the Gloucester Daily Times that spotlighted flaws in forcing catch shares on fishermen. It follows this text. Read it and pay close attention to what he says. This is just more info on the tactics used by the bullies at the EDF. If you are approached to sign such a petition, read it carefully, do not be BULLIED to sign away your ability to fish!