Saturday, February 27, 2010

Please become a fan of We Fish We Vote on Facebook. It is a great asset in the fight against overly restrictive federal regulations on our nations recreational and commercial fisheries.

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What a week it has been!

Below is a summation of news from the net for this week. More to follow.

Florida Senator Nelson Wants Re-Examination Of Fishing Restrictions
AHN | All Headline News
Bill Nelson, D-FL, has asked the Senate Commerce Committee Tuesday to examine fishing regulations, in particular the ban on red-snapper fishing and ...
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Fishermen rally in DC
Pensacola News Journal
Eller said time lines set by the law have effectively tied the hands of fisheries regulators, who have slashed season lengths for red snapper and other fish ...
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Special Series: "Fished Out" Part 1
Last year the Marine Fisheries Service closed the Red Snapper season early, saying the 6. 9 million pound quota had been reached. ...
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Quotes from Florida Today - News, photos, topics, and quotes
Amanda Leland of the Environmental Defense Fund said she understands ... We have one guy who was a red snapper fisherman for us and now he is moving to ...

Fishermen rally against federal catch limits
We have one guy who was a red snapper fisherman for us and now he is moving to Mexico. ... Charles Schumer · Environmental Defense Fund ...

Local News Senator Calls For Review of Fishing Ban
The Feds recently closed off huge areas of our coastal waters to red snapper, grouper and amberjack fishing. But local fishermen say the catch is better ...
See all stories on this topic

EDFish » Fishermen Express Concerns in Washington Today; Catch ...
Instead of pushing fishermen off the water to restore the red snapper fishery in the ... Red snapper populations are now rebounding, meaning more fish for ... - NEWS+FEATURES: Fish Tales
Jeanna Merrifield questions the motives of conservationists like Pew. ... tuna, snapper, stone crabs and scores of other species – some imported, but most local . ... His other prize on this day is coveted royal red shrimp, an oversized ...

It's My Cast – Pompano, Pythons and Protesters | Articles at Reel ...
By Bill Hubbard
Port Canaveral (AP) Following lengthy public hearings, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council has shut down the Red Snapper fishery Jan. 1 from Key West to No. Carolina until May 1. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act the council is ... -

Fishermen enlist members of Congress to oppose red snapper ban
Orlando Sentinel (blog)
By Ludmilla Lelis Still reeling from a federal ban on fishing for red snapper, Central Florida captains and fishermen joined more than 2000 people at the ...
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Ban Sends Fishermen To Washington
WESH Orlando
Red snapper fishing was banned. Bans were also enacted for 11 grouper species and vermillion snapper. The limits are impacting the fishing industry and the ...
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Fishermen protest law that closes many areas to fishing
Kansas City Star
4 to June 2 to allow stocks of red snapper to replenish. The period can be extended for another six-month period. Fishermen fear long replenishment periods ...
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Members of Congress are heeding their protest.
Orlando Sentinel
The ban on red snapper is the key Florida species that is fueling the anger of anglers, both recreational and commercial, who say the current 6-month ban is ...
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Change fishery rules, spare fishing jobs, chorus says
Florida Times-Union
“This red snapper issue is forcing the issue in Washington,” said Duane Harris of St. Simons Island, Ga., chairman of the South Atlantic Fishery Management ...
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Thousands of Fishermen Rally in Washington, DC
Others say the problem is the overfishing of the Red Snapper. The South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council says their population is dying out. ...
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'I fish, I vote:' Local fishermen march on Washington (PHOTO ...
The Northwest Florida Daily News
... Panama City and Mexico Beach either rode a bus or flew to the rally. “This is amazing,” captain Mike Eller of Destin said as he scanned the crowd. ...

Fight is on
Charleston Post Courier
He had been running as far as Florida to catch golden tilefish because the offshore bottom here has been closed to catching red snapper and grouper, ...
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LoBiondo Speaks at Fishermen's Rally - Cape May County Herald
anglers in California, or the shutdown of red snapper and amberjack down south, our community has been divided by preservationist tactics for too long. ...

Rep. Pallone tells N.J. fishermen that fisheries "science is ...
In the Gulf, it's red snapper." Organized by the Recreational Fishing Alliance, ... and the PEW Environment Group, a major backer of fishery reform efforts. ...

The Billfish Foundation today joined a coalition of marine ...
Given NOAA's recent ban on recreational fishing for red snapper from North ... All have some roots back to PEW. Would not surprise me one bit that they have ...

"Share a Little Sunshine" - Fishing Forums
Pew's puppet, NOAA, through the use of outdated, non scientific, ..... CCA does not support the red snapper closers on the east coast as it was presented ... | Fishermen rally against federal catch limits
... off the Massachusetts coast and those who fish for red snapper in the Carolinas. ... Environmental groups, meanwhile, say the government should allow anglers greater ...

Fishermen march on DC
The News Herald
Panama City, Mexico Beach and Destin were represented with more than 35 captains and deckhands, many who spent 18 hours on a bus traveling to Washington. ...

Gulf Coast fishermen join Washington protest against red snapper limits (blog)
In the case of red snapper, "the fishery has recovered, and we keep getting shorter and shorter seasons," Rowell said. "It doesn't make sense. ...
See all stories on this topic

Angry Anglers March on Washington
Orange Beach
In addition to these two bills, there is a proposed House Bill, HR3307, which specifically addresses the Red Snapper Fishery in the South Atlantic ...
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Rep Mica Blasts Red Snapper Ban at Fishermen Rally (press release)
Mica introduced legislation to reverse the recent ban on Red Snapper fishing in the Southeast Atlantic Marine Fishery until a new stock assessment based on ...
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Fishermen go to Washington to protest ocean fish restrictions
Palm Beach Post (blog)
Historical data overestimated the size of the red snapper population, creating a false target when setting a goal to rebuild the stock. ...
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Heritage and Environment - CITY COUNCIL LIVEBLOG :
By tsketo
“From the bottom of my heart, I'm a fisherman, and I've never seen more red snapper and amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico than there's ever been,” Barker said. Barker said fishing regulations based on old data are destroying our heritage, ...

Oyster Radio News: Senator nelson calls for review of federal ...
By Snakeman
On Tuesday, Nelson requested that the Senate Commerce Committee examine the ban on red-snapper fishing and fisheries closures in Florida. He also asked for a determination of whether federal officials are using reliable data to support ...
Oyster Radio News -

Gregg Holshouser, outdoors columnist: SAFMC to rehash closed fishing area off ...
Myrtle Beach Sun News
Amendment 17A's intent is to end overfishing of red snapper and the council is considering closing massive areas of the Atlantic Ocean to all bottom fishing ...
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Press Releases on Justmeans - Fishermen Express Concerns in ...
You are now following Environmental Defense Fund. ... fishermen in the Southeast U.S. are just beginning to feel the cost of a closure on red snapper. ...

We had four letters received; one from Environmental Defense Fund for .... Some of them have talked to a few of the red snapper fishermen who don't like ...

Fishermen to March on Washington - The Aquatic Network
expenditure of many millions of dollars by the Pew Charitable Trusts, ... anglers in California, or the shutdown of red snapper and amberjack down south, ...

Thousands protest federal fishing restrictions
By (Mike Trocchi)
Fishermen from several Atlantic states turned up to blast federal bans on red snapper, grouper and other species that feed their livelihoods. They shouted, "Where's the data?" and waved signs that read, "United We Fish" and "I Fish. ...
Trade Only | Boating News for... -

Senator Nelson Files Bills To Curb Red Snapper Restrictions
Bill Nelson unveiled two pieces of legislation today to stop the federal government from imposing restrictions on red snapper fishing off the state's ...
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Senator Nelson Files Bills To Curb Red Snapper Restrictions
Sen. Bill Nelson unveiled two pieces of legislation today to stop the federal government from imposing restrictions on red snapper fishing off the state's ...

Buck on the Bus — DC trip a time to remember
Destin Log
We have folks from Mexico Beach, Panama City, Lynn Haven and Destin. ... Chuck Guilford of Mexico Beach, formerly of Destin, says he's going to DC because ...

Red Snapper Management
Recently the National Marine Fisheries Service has taken a serious PR hit over the pending rules concerning the south Atlantic's red snapper fishery.

Fishermen Say Federal Policies Leave Them Idle
Capitol News Connection
Right now there is a temporary federal ban on catching red snapper off Florida's East coast. The same goes for grouper. In the Gulf of Mexico, ...
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Florida Senator Files Bills to Change Red Snapper Restrictions
And he's heard several stories from fishermen who say the red snapper population is actually better than it's been in years. He says, "It's important that ...
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Keys fishermen get their voices heard
"Recent fishing bans on red snapper and shallow-water grouper enacted by [federal fishery managers] are devastating to our Florida fishing industry," she ...
See all stories on this topic

Friday, February 26, 2010

What a trip!!!

Sorry for the delay in posting since the trip to DC. After a day to recover and a major PC disaster we are back up and will have plenty of pictures, videos, and links to post over the next couple of days.

Stay tuned and thanks to all that helped with the effort!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Anglers head to Washington to voice concerns

Published: February 21, 2010

America's anglers are mad ... and they're not going to take it anymore.

What is reputed to be the first "Fisherman's March on Washington, D.C." is slated for Wednesday. It's an effort by dozens of recreational and commercial fishing groups to direct the attention of the federal government toward what the anglers say is gross mismanagement of fisheries in federal waters.

Read more.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


A national grassroots effort is currently underway to get coastal fishermen to the rally in DC on February 24th. If you or your group is organizing one of these bus trips to Washington, please let your bus company know that all buses entering DC are subject to a $50 permit fee. Visit for all required bus permit information.


The Delaware Fisherman's Alliance has chartered a bus leaving from Old Inlet Bait and Tackle in Rehoboth Beach at 9 a.m. Call 302-227-7974 for more information.


The Panama City Boatmen Association from NW Florida has received contributions from the Destin Charter Boat Association and several businesses from Mexico Beach, Panama City, and Destin for a bus leaving Panama City, FL the morning of 2-23 and returning after the RALLY IN DC. We have 50 seats available and could accommodate up to 80 on a larger bus. Except for food and sharing a hotel room outside the beltway the ride is free for those who contact us. Contact Bob Zales, II at for info.


The Frederick and Atlantic Coastal chapters of the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association are currently working on an organized effort to get anglers DC for the rally. For details, contact MSSA Executive Director Dave Smith at MSSA at 410-255-5535.


Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund, United Boatmen, Marine Trades Association of New Jersey and the RFA-NJ chapter are helping coordinate buses in and out of DC on February 24. Tickets are $32 per person and can be purchased by visiting the following port locations.

Bogan's Deep Sea Fishing Center - Brielle, NJ

Atlantic Highlands Marina - Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Wildwood Fishing Center - Wildwood, NJ

Sportsmen's Center - Bordentown, NJ

The Chum Bucket Bait & Tackle shop at 381 Route 9 in West Creek has a bus leaving at 8 a.m. at a cost of $30 per person. Call 609 294 2500 or visit The Chum Bucket Bait & Tackle

A bus will be leaving Long Key Marina at 104 Main Street in Waretown at 6:15 a.m. sharp at a cost of $30 per person. For information CLICK HERE or call 609-693-9444.


Grumpys Tackle in Seaside, NJ is organizing a bus. The address is 906 NE Central Ave • Seaside Park, NJ 08752 • Contact Thomas Hansen (best time weekdays noon till 6 PM) • Phone 732-830-1900 • Fax 732-830-1978 Grumpys Tackle


The Viking Fleet has organized a bus departing Viking Dock at 462 West Lake Drive on Montauk Harbor at 4 a.m. at a cost of $40 per person. The bus will also stop at 395 Country Road 39A in Southampton (Hampton Jitney Main Location) at 4:30 a.m. and at 460 Country Road 111, Manorville (King Kullen Parking Lot) at 5:30 a.m. Call the Viking Office at 631-668-5700, ext 0. Montauk Harbor, Montauk, New York or CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS/TICKETS

The United Boatmen of New York have organized a pair of buses leaving from Captree Basin in Captree State Park, and from Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn. Tickets Cost $40 per person and can be purchased online through the United Boatmen of New York website.


The North Carolina Fisheries Association (NCFA) is planning a bus trip to Washington DC to participate it the “FIX Magnuson” rally on February 24. NCFA currectly has two buses filled leaving from the Outer Banks area, with a third bus now being filled. One leaving from New Bern is already sold out and the second is currently being filled. There is also a bus from Ocean Isle that is already filled. The cost for a seat on the bus will be $60 with limited seating; the buses hold 47 people. Please call Peggy at NCFA at 252-633-2288 for information.
There are a few spots left on the first bus leaving from Hampstead. Please call Randy McKinley at:
Home 910-270-4518
Cell: 910-612-5260.

Individual angler Phil Nichols has spearhead a Southeast PA effort around Montgomery County, with anglers one pick up in Pennsburg and a second in King of Prussia. Tickets are almost sold out as of February 1 – for details call 215-260-0952 or e-mail Phil at


The Virginia Beach Fishing Center is sponsoring a bus to go to Washington DC on February 24th. The bus will leave the Fishing Center at 7:00am Wednesday morning and will return some time that evening. We need your support. The bus is limited to 50 people. If you would like to go, there is a sign up sheet at the Fishing Center. Hope to see everyone there

As per the US Capitol police, “there is no parking available for private automobiles, buses, or other vehicles on Capitol Grounds. Buses may utilize Garfield Circle, at the intersection of First Street and Maryland Avenue, S.W., and Union Station, at 50 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., to drop off passengers.” Bus companies and bus drivers can contact Union Station authorities for drop-off and parking information at 202-898-1950. Click here to download additional bus parking information for the DC area.

Please keep an eye on this page for additional bus pick-up locations as they are made available.

Fishermen say federal law kills jobs

- Associated Press Writer

BOSTON -- Fishermen from around the country are planning to pack the steps in front of the U.S. Capitol this month to demand changes to a federal fisheries law they say is killing jobs and eroding fishing communities.

Organizers of the "United We Fish" rally expect up to 3,000 people at the Feb. 24 protest, including a bipartisan roster of congressmen and fishermen from as far away as Alaska.

The rally comes as various issues roil the fishing business, including questions about uneven law enforcement, restrictions on key recreational stocks and a switch to a new system of regulating Northeast fishermen.

Read more.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The man behind the curtain.

What a long strange journey it has been to understand what is driving the decision making process with regards to marine fisheries management. The push for "catch shares" and "marine spatial planning" by NOAA is a necessary step in the implementation of an agenda. The puzzle was who's agenda. If your curious take a close look at the videos in the link below. Look also at the website where they were hosted. Lastly take a look at the website's partners.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Wild On Fishing

Wild connection Radical preservationist group could have hand in management plan

Comment Email Print Share

By Robert Montgomery

Whether you're attending a magic show in Las Vegas or dealing with government, it's always a good idea to "watch the other hand" if you really want to know what's going on. Both magicians and politicians are masters of deception and misdirection.

That sad fact of life has become abundantly clear to the recreational fishing community, as its advocates intensify their efforts to keep public waters open and accessible to anglers. And as they push, they need anglers all across America to push with them.

This is necessary because, as ESPN previously reported, environmental/preservationist groups are pressuring Obama to by-pass Congressional oversight and act unilaterally in approving a management strategy for our oceans, coastal waters, and Great Lakes.

This comes at a time when the recreational fishing community had been led to believe that a public and transparent process would follow the recommendations of his Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force and decisions would not be made without careful deliberation.

Because of administration ties to these groups and support for their agendas, issuance of an Executive Order almost certainly would mean closure of public waters to recreational fishing under the guise of a "spatial planning" strategy.

It also would mean that the administration successfully deceived the angling community that a fair and open process would be used to develop a management plan.

To speak out against issuance of an Executive Order, go to the Keep America Fishing web site and send a letter to Obama, your elected officials, and the task force.

"Clearly the environmental community is making a push on this," said Gordon Robertson of the American Sportfishing Association. "We can't let just their voices be heard. We must make them listen to the recreational fishing community as well."

In response to this concern, Andrew Winer, a spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told angling advocates, "I want to assure all of you that the rumor remains incorrect and that there is no plan to issue an Executive Order before the public comment period is closed."

The big problem with that is deadline for public comments on the task force's management framework proposal is Feb. 12.

"If an Executive Order were to be issued — and we hope that it won't be — it shouldn't be for months," said Gary Kania of the Congressional Sportsmen Foundation. "A deliberative process is needed before decisions are made, with consideration given for all of the comments that have been made.

"We're meeting with the members of the Congressional Sportsmen Caucus to raise this issue. Enhancing Congressional oversight is what's needed. Let's get them involved in something of this scale."

And while anglers seem to have been deceived about the fairness of the process, they have been misdirected as well. While they have focused their energies solely on dealing with the task force, a federal agency has been conspiring with a low-profile, but radical preservationist group, The WILD Foundation, to create a "marine wilderness" management plan that very well could interconnect with the task force.

WILD's objective: "We believe that at least half of the Earth's surface (land and water) needs to be permanently protected in an essentially wild condition, in a manner that keeps all of life interconnected."

Its partner: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

If WILD has its way, anglers would be denied access by motorized boats to half of the nation's oceans, coastal waters, and Great Lakes, with the way opened via the task force for similar limitations on inland waters.

"You could have to paddle for two miles to fish in a marine wilderness area," Robertson said.

Here's what WILD says on its web site:

"WILD has teamed up with its U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) colleagues to work closely in seeking public input, with WILD spearheading the non-governmental community through the MWC (Marine Wilderness Collaborative, and the USFWS driving government agency participation through the Intergovernmental Working Group on Marine Wilderness."

The recreational fishing community didn't learn of this partnership until early February, although WILD posted information regarding the project on its web site on Dec. 18.

"It's standard procedure for the Fish and Wildlife Service to reach out to non-governmental organizations for partnerships," Kania said. "But this is a pretty radical agenda that the WILD Foundation is proposing.

"What we want to know now from Fish and Wildlife is how long we have to comment on this."

In trying to keep anglers out of vast areas, what WILD and other groups fail to grasp is "how conservation works," Robertson said. "It's paid for by the people most interested in it. If they can't be involved, they'll be less interested, and the end game would be much less investment in fisheries management."

Through license fees and excise taxes on fishing equipment, anglers contribute millions of dollars annually for fisheries research and habitat improvements, as well as coastal wetlands planning and restoration. Additionally, they assist resource agencies in numerous ways, including data collection to determine status and management strategies for sport species.

Denying access to the nation's 60 million anglers not only would collapse this life-support system for our fisheries, it would devastate the economies of communities dependent on recreational fishing. Just as importantly, it would do irreparable harm to a family-oriented pastime that keeps us in touch with and appreciative of the natural world.

As a Senior Writer for ESPN/BASS Publications, Robert Montgomery has written about conservation, environment, and access issues for more than two decades.

Ocean Zoning?

Feds plan ocean zoning, replacing 'open seas'

By Richard Gaines
Staff Writer

Well below the low-water line for news, the White House is moving to create a system for managing the space — surface and depth — of federal waters that amounts to ocean zoning and is known as "marine spatial planning."

If adopted by Congress and imposed, the new approach would force radical alteration of the historic American understanding of the "open seas" — by purpose, they would no longer be open and instead zoned for pre- and proscribed uses.

Read more.

Catch Shares Cram Down

Everyone needs to read this and pass it on to everyone you know. This is an excellent story. The current NOAA FY2011 Budget has a request for money and jobs to push catch shares.

PROGRAM CHANGES FOR FY 2011: (page 181 NOAA budget estimates FY 2001)

National Catch Share Program (+10 Full Time Employees and +$36,600,000): NOAA requests an increase of 10 FTE and $36,600,000 for a total of $54,002,000 and 17 FTE, to accelerate and enhance implementation of a National Catch Share Program. Rebuilding our Nation’s fisheries is essential to preserving the livelihood of fishermen, the vibrancy of our coastal communities, a sustainable supply of healthy seafood, and restoring ocean ecosystems to a healthy state. Catch share programs give fishermen a stake in the benefits of a well-managed fishery, and therefore greater incentive to ensure effective management.

Read the entire NOAA Budget Estimate

Thursday, February 4, 2010

To all concerned:

Things are not going well for the fishermen at this Gulf Council meeting I am attending now in Mobile. The Science & Statiscal Committee has recommended that the Annual Catch Limit be increased by 38% for 2010, which should increase our season from 75 days to 125. They are talking about decreasing the season in 2010 due to going over the Annual Catch Limit in 2009. That would seem fair on the surface, but in 2009, we not only continued to rebuild the fishery at the rate we fished, but we overcame the status of 'undergoing overfishing', so we are rebuilding the fishery faster than expected.

There is a lot more going on, but it all amounts to NMFS taking more and more away from the recreational fishing industry with no real data to prove that it is necessary.

After asking our people to work with them to get support in our industry for complying with electronic logbooks so they could have more accurate real-time data, which we did, that pilot program is to be stricken from the budget in 2011. No discussion or warning about it... just taking the funding away. Dr. Crabtree said the next day in the meeting, but not when it was brought up in public comment, that it was removed because it was a Congressional earmark. He said that if that program is funded again, it will go back into the budget. That leaves the responsiblityi to the fishing industry to request this funding from legislators again in order for NMFS to get their data correct.

On the other hand, Catch Shares is listed as having an increased budget. The Catch Shares program will reduce the for-hire fleet and cause recreational fishing by private anglers to be available at a much higher cost to the angler. In the budget request listed on page 181, it says, "NOAA requests an increase of 10FTE and $36,000,000 for a total of $54,0002,000 and 17 FTE, to accelerate and enhance implementation of a National Catch Share Program."

Those of us who have listened to the workshop presentations and attended meetings and conference calls and read literature on this program know it will severely impact our industry and tourism. It will even negatively impact the opportunities we have to offer our great fishing to businesses that are looking for amenities that would be available for their employees as they move into Florida's coastal communities.

In the public comment period at this meeting, there was a substantial majority of participants that spoke against a potential Catch Shares Policy being enacted in the Gulf region. Those who have read the information realize it is not a policy in the best interest of anglers, businesses, and tourism. You can read the NOAA Draft Catch Shares Policy online at You can read a very informative study by Dr. Daniel Bromley regarding the negative impacts of this policy in Fisheries, Vol 34, No. 6, Perspective: Socioeconomics Abdicating Responsibility, the Deceits of Fisheries Policy.

Bill Teehan from Florida requested that information be provided by the Gulf Council to the FWC before the April meeting so they can make a determination of whether Florida be consistent in State waters with the proposed Federal regulations. The next FWC meeting is scheduled in Appalachicola February 17-18, for those who want to address this issue with them.

Consideration is being made to look at an alternative plan to split the Amberjack season to be scheduled before and after the Red Snapper season to give anglers a preferred species to catch for a longer period of time.

I am thankful we will have the opportunity in Washington, DC on Feb. 24th to bring this issue into the National spotlight with people from New England to the Keys to Texas in the Gulf and even from the Pacific Coast and Alaska.

We need flexibility in the Magnuson NOW, but we also need people in our fishery management leadership who are including the mandates of National Standard 8 in their regulatory actions, considering the social and economic impacts on the communities and individual stakeholders in the fishery.

Thank you one and all for your support of this industry.

United We Fish!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

If you have not sent your comments in to the Gulf Council regarding Sector Separation and Catch Shares, please do so tonight or early in the morning. They will be voting on them tomorrow. Sector separation is an attempt to split the recreational sector between for-hire and private anglers. We all fish for recreation...United We Fish! Catch shares will only help fishery managers' jobs get easier, not give us more fish. It will cause the price of fishing to go up substantially. The environmental groups are pushing hard for this policy in the U.S.
See how to vote below...

United We Fish!

Now is the time to sound off loud and clear. If you want something, you should be prepared to fight for it.

Today, you can take two specific actions.
First, we have a concern that the Gulf Council is not hearing the 6 million Gulf recreational anglers when we say NO SECTOR SEPARATION. A recreational angler should have the right to chose how they fish, be it a private boat, a hired boat with a licensed captain or from shore.
There is a small group of charter boat captains and owners who think they are entitled to all the fish that their recreational angler paying customers caught. This group is being backed by the Environmental Defense Fund in order to bring catch shares to the recreational fishery. They must be stopped.
Send a short email to the Council TODAY (they will vote tomorrow morning on moving forward with this unconstitutional concept). Email to

Here is all you need to say (OK to put more in if you like):

Dear Gulf Council-
My name is___________. I am a (recreational angler, charter captain or commercial fisherman) and I am OPPOSED to any idea that gives a boat captain the right to MY ACCESS to the fishery.
Again, I OPPOSE SECTOR SEPARATION. I also OPPOSE any concept of recreational catch shares.

Thank you,

Your Name

Second, there is a petition online that you should sign. The petition is a concerted effort lead by the Central Florida Offshore Anglers, the Halifax Sportfishing Club, the Sebastian Inlet Sportfishing Association and the Florida Sport Fishing Association. It is about the South Atlantic Red Snapper closure.
Go to

2010 red snapper season will be the shortest ever

MOBILE, Ala. -- In December, the National Marine Fisheries Service official in charge of red snapper regulations warned that, despite a seemingly robust population, the 2010 season may be shortened because recreational anglers exceeded their quota by 1.7 million pounds in 2009.

Roy Crabtree's warning proved prophetic Tuesday, during the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting in Mobile. The Reef Fish Management Committee voted to increase the total allowable catch to 6.945 million pounds, but cut the season to between 51 and 60 days -- making for the shortest snapper season ever.

Read more.

Bay County Approves Fisheries Resolution

Local anglers claim the region's economy has taken a hit because the National Marine Fisheries Service is using flawed data in making stock assessments.

They believe decisions to close red snapper and amberjack seasons last year were based on an inadequate collection process.

Tuesday, commissioners passed a resolution urging the fisheries service to re-examine the process and relax some regulations.

Bay County commissioner Mike Thomas said, "The restrictions are so tight. People know we need restrictions to take care of that but we just want to make sure that the information that they're using to make their decisions is appropriate, gathered and used properly."

The resolution will be sent to the Florida congressional delegation.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Salt Water Fishing in Florida By the Numbers

The numbers according to the Recreational Fishing Alliance:

• Ripple effect -- $5,123,992,575
• Salaries wages and business earnings -- $1,568,389,759
• Federal Tax Revenue -- $378,902,841
• State and Local Tax Revenue -- $311,265,319
• Jobs -- 51,588
Each saltwater sports fishing trip on Florida's Water is valued at an average of $350.00 Dollars

James Donofrio
Executive Director
RFA (Recreational Fishing Alliance)

Bay County Commission to Vote on Fishery Resolution

Bay County commissioners will approve or reject a resolution urging Florida's congressional delegation to push for funding to improve the National Marine Fisheries' data collection process.

The money would be earmarked for a new, full-blown stock assessment of each Gulf Coast species managed by the fisheries.

Local anglers have argued the National Marine Fisheries data process is flawed and it is having a negative effect on coastal communities.

Fishermen say the closure of red snapper and amberjack seasons last year hurt the local economy.

The commission will take up that resolution during its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday.