Do they really want to "HEAR YE, HEAR YE"?
ye, Hear ye!
Fisheries regulators say they want to hear what YOU have to say
on many fisheries issues in your area and beyond. From Florida
to Alaska, regulators are required to solicit public input on
proposed fishing rules, such as:
FL Keys Marine Sanctuary (closures)
South Atlantic Council (grouper, snapper, dolphin, wahoo, tuna &
Gulf Council (regional red snapper management & mackerel)
Joint FWC/SAFMC/GFMC (general input on regional rules)
Alaska (the recreational IFQ march continues)
the aforementioned proposals, by region, with links to
information on the individual issues, documents, meeting times
and locations. Note that some agencies have online webinar and
conference call access for your listening and questioning
pleasure. Most of the proposals deal with you losing more of
your rights for little or no good reason.
take the time to participate in webinars, conference calls and
public input sessions matters not nearly as much as you taking
SPECIFIC actions over the next two weeks.
ignored by NMFS, your concerns carry great weight with your
state's fisheries managers, state and federal legislators and
even some Council members. Over the next ten days, we will send
CALL TO ACTION alerts for each issue, along with suggested
comments and a list of officials that need to hear from you.
Each CALL TO ACTION will contain an explanation of the proposed
regulations' effects on your rights. We will touch on the
validity of the need for each new regulation. You have a lot of
information coming your way soon. To protect your fishing rights, you
must take appropriate, timely action. You CAN
submit comments electronically for all issues.
FLORIDA KEYS NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY COMMENTS DUE - (ON HOLD)
fishing zones in the Florida Keys? Not so fast!
preserves and closed areas proposed in FL Keys rattled
stakeholders. Initial public reaction has caused this advisory
workgroup to reconsider its proposals, which, according to
this set of documents were
ludicrous to begin with. Score one for the stakeholders.
SOUTH ATLANTIC COUNCIL COMMENTS DUE BY 5 pm August 18, 2013
hearings from 8/5 through 8/15 on Snapper Grouper Regulatory
Amendment 14; Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 5; Coastal Migratory
Pelagics (Mackerel) Amendments 19, 20 and Framework; Coral
Click this link for all information.
COUNCIL COMMENTS DUE BY 8/15/13
held from 8/1 - 8/15. Regional management of red snapper.
Click here for meeting dates and locations.
Click here for the documents (some still not available) and
other supporting information.
FLORIDA FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION/GULF
COUNCIL/SOUTH ATLANTIC COUNCIL SUBMIT COMMENTS BY 8/12/13
July 29 - Aug 5.
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), in conjunction
with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and the South
Atlantic Fishery Management Council, will host five workshops to
gather public input on south Florida marine fisheries
regulations and issues. All stakeholders are invited to share
their concerns about south Florida fisheries management at the
ALASKA COMMENTS DUE BY 8/25/13
Catch Sharing Plan = catch shares for recreational sector AND
sector separation. Precedent setting inter-sector trading is
proposed. Commercial fish will be sold (for more money) to the
recreational angler. If the fish is not making it into the
commercial stream, why should a commercial fisherman benefit
from renting it to the rec angler? This has national
implications, just like the original Gulf red snapper
recreational IFQ push, which was directly thwarted by The
Fishing Rights Alliance.
Click here to read about the halibut catch share plan.
Click here for the proposed rule.
WATCH FOR MORE INFORMATION AND CALL TO ACTION ALERTS FROM THE
FISHING RIGHTS ALLIANCE.
The Fishing Rights Alliance has always
been the voice of the recreational angler, on the cutting edge
of defending your fishing rights. Your membership helps us
protect your right to fish. Please - Join,
Captain Bob Zales II of Panama City Beach is a fixture in the Gulf fisheries management process. A third generation charter man, Bob has spent his life on the water and half his life fighting for our fishing rights. He has advocated for the for-hire industry and the recreational sector and opposes sector separation and recreational catch shares. Captain Zales summarizes the issue nicely in a recent email, shared with his permission on the FRA website in its entirety.
A quote from his email:
"According to the folks at the NOAA science center...it is clear that the current massive amount of red snapper in the stock was increased at the expense of fishermen and our communities. The coordinated collusion between the NMFS and enviro groups such as EDF, PEW, and OC to needlessly constrain the red snapper fishery has created the current social and economic harm to the fishermen and communities of the Gulf. Bottom line, we could have fished more days and harvested more red snapper and not done any harm to the resource. I suggest that we could have been fishing 6 months, maybe not at 4 fish, but certainly at 2 fish since 2006." - Captain Bob Zales II, Panama City Beach, FL
His words echo the FRA's unwavering contention of mismanagement and over-regulation of red snapper. NMFS' absolute failure to fairly and properly manage our fisheries costs us jobs, economic activity and our right to fish. It is time to demand the immediate restoration of a six month red snapper and ten month gag season in the Gulf and South Atlantic.
Restoring jobs and economic activity lost to this abysmal mismanagement should drive the immediate opening of Gulf and South Atlantic red snapper for six months and gag grouper for ten months. To make this happen, answer the FRA's next Call To Action, which will arrive shortly.
With your help, the FRA will fight to get our wrongfully denied red snapper and gag grouper fishing opportunities returned to their rightful owner.
United we fish. Divided we golf.
Defies Council and States
In response to
the Gulf Council's action rescinding Roy Crabtree's unconstitutional
power over federal charter permit holders and his self made stranglehold
on all state waters, the Council gets a written denial, not from the
Secretary of Commerce or the head of National Marine Fisheries Service,
but from....Roy himself! This abuse of power in pursuit of an agenda is
mirrored in the current IRS/AP abuses and must be stopped.
This is the
behavior and course of action that the FRA has long exposed and
continues to fight against. Be a part of the solution!
Renew your FRA membership or
join the FRA today.
the May 14, 2013 letter to
Gulf Council from Roy Crabtree, Regional Administrator, National
Marine Fisheries Service:
summary, NOAA Fisheries finds the Council’s requested action to rescind
the 30B rule is not warranted and would not be feasible to implement
before the start of the June 1, 2013, recreational red snapper fishing
season. The Council has failed to compellingly document that the action
is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and
Management Act, other applicable law, and NOAA Fisheries’ policy
guidelines for the use of emergency rules. Further, the Council has not
presented sufficient rationale in support of the request, including how
the stated benefits of the requested action justify the associated
adverse impacts, and has not demonstrated that it understands the full
impacts of the request."
the letter, these things come to mind...
raging discontent over Amendment 30B is driven, in part, by Roy's
actions and arrogance. Roy's bosses should be writing this letter, not
the man who has been the chief engineer of this unconstitutional theft
telling of the true attitude of our federal fisheries management agency:
"We know best and you mean nothing to us" is the message I perceive.
Congress needs to
take control of this agency through budget cuts and job
eliminations; discarding the bad, keeping the good, and demanding
accountability from all in the process.
- AND -
When did NMFS
change its name to NOAA Fisheries? Was this approved? Say "NOAA
Fisheries for you"... Do you hear ' no fisheries for you'? I do. That is
The FRA will
continue to confront and repel this reprehensible behavior and course of
action. We need your help. We are grossly outspent by those who conspire
to steal your fishing rights. Last year, the Walmart family ALONE
donated $10 million to push catch share efforts (EDF got $7.8 million
to the Walton family is like $7.80 to you and me. Could you help the FRA
with a $7.80 donation today?
We will put it to good use.
Next Up - Call To
Action: Time for our states and
Congress to step in a put a stop to this. Watch for the email.
If you have
not yet joined the chorus of voices demanding justice, now is the time.
renew your FRA membership today.
Thank you for your continued support.
In this FRA News Update:
GULF GOVERNORS DRAW SWORDS
CONGRESS FIRES SHOT ACROSS NMFS' BOW
OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR VOICE TO BE HEARD
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
GULF GOVERNORS DRAW SWORDS
What does this mean for you? Because of your input, Congress is
fully aware of NMFS' mismanagement of our fisheries and is taking
action to return control of the fisheries to the rightful stewards:
The states and their citizens. The acknowledgment that NMFS is
mismanaging our fisheries causes the states to take back control,
which has been a goal of the FRA.
CONGRESS FIRES SHOT ACROSS
Congress is disappointed with NMFS and
pushes for state control of fisheries with H.R. 1219. They
heard you loud and clear.
"The Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a 44-day recreational red
snapper season for Gulf of Mexico state waters at its meeting
April 17 in Tallahassee. State waters are from shore to 9
nautical miles in Gulf waters. This season will start June 1 and
end July 14. It is inconsistent with the current proposed
federal season. Federal fishery managers recently passed a rule
that grants NOAA Fisheries the authority to shorten the federal
recreational red snapper season off states that adopt
inconsistent red snapper regulations. The current estimate of
the recreational red snapper season is 21 days in federal waters
off the Gulf coast of Florida."
"The Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC), at its April 17 meeting near
Tallahassee, moved forward unanimously with a proposal to
make tarpon and bonefish catch In a separate discussion, the
Commission also reviewed how gear is being used for the
tarpon fishery in Boca Grande Pass. The Commission directed
staff to re-examine the definition of snagging and redefine
what gear can be used in the Pass. This issue will likely be
brought before the Commission at the June meeting as a draft
Roy Crabtree says, "Trust me"
Allegedly during an open discussion session at
last week's Gulf Council meeting, Roy Crabtree, NMFS Southeast
Regional Administrator, when asked about the lack of information
regarding the Inter Sector trading program, didn't have the answer,
and replied, "You'll just have to trust me".
Thursday, the Gulf Council voted to remove
NMFS power over federal charter captains when fishing in state
waters (30B), put a hold on Days at Sea program and took away NMFS
power to punish non-compliant states. Trust in NMFS? Apparently
Although the Gulf Council is making huge
strides towards protecting your fishing rights, catch shares are
still on the agenda. Despite overwhelming opposition, catch shares
are still being pushed forward at every opportunity, riding a tidal
wave of funding, including $16 million from the Walton Family
Foundation (Wal-Mart owners) in 2012. This incredible lobbying,
advocacy and misinformation campaign has one goal: To allow
investors to own another public resource, your fish.
Those investor's dividends would be
derived from collecting annual rent on their perpetual ownership
of a public resource. This means you would have to 'rent' the
right to catch a fish from a share owner such as Wal-Mart.
The public's current ownership yields
dividends of a healthy fishery and the opportunity to fish,
which creates jobs and economic health. This benefits all of us,
not just a few. Maybe Wal-Mart and the other 'investors' should
invest in boat companies and tackle manufacturers while keeping
their hands off your fish.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR VOICE
TO BE HEARD
Write Congress at King of the
Old Salt's King of The Beach
Captain's Meeting is Thursday night in Madeira Beach, FL.
Stop by and write a personal note to your congressmen that
will be hand delivered when Denny, President of the FRA,
goes to Washington, DC this May.
Watch for an FRA Call to
Action email later this week.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
The FRA has led the charge against
the recreational catch share agenda since it first
reared its insipidly ugly head in the Gulf Council
process. We challenge the fish thieves at every turn,
many times alone and always outspent by millions, yet
relentless in the defense of your fishing rights. The
FRA will not compromise right for wrong.
We run on faith, goodwill and your help. You have spoken
and you now know who listens. In the state vs federal
fisheries showdown, as high noon approaches, you need to
be there, armed to the teeth with facts, truth and the
conviction to act.
Now, more than
ever, it is time to stand united and take back our
fishery. The FRA can only do this with your help.
Please, join the FRA, renew your membership or make a
$10 donation today.
I won't back down. And you?
United we fish, Divided we golf!
Fishing Rights Alliance
JUDGE OPENS DOOR FOR POSSIBLE DEPOSITION OF NOAA OFFICIALS
officials may finally be forced to answer plaintiff's questions about their
behind-closed-doors decision making process and the influence of enviro groups connected to NOAA Director Jane Lubchenco, formerly of Environmental Defense Fund.
courts be starting to see what we have seen? Ask yourself " What
will the judge of the three FRA lawsuits think?" as you read this
excellent article by Richard Gaines.
Judge opens door to forced fed testimony on lawsuit
Click here for a copy of the motion
for discovery in .pdf
to schedule workshop on concept of 'sector separation' in November.
Plan on spending a half day at the workshop.
Council is accepting public input on Amendment 17A
snapper recreational season opened Friday, Saturday and Sunday from
October 1 to November 22, 2010
asks National Marine Fisheries Service to close gulf gag grouper fishing
for six months starting Jan 1, 2011
Check out a
new FRA flyer. Print it, email it, spread it around.
FRA files suit over Gulf AJ closure -
Atlantic Council to take public input on Grouper Snapper closures and
file lawsuit over Gulf of Mexico closure of recreational Greater
THE FRA FIGHTS FOR YOUR FISHING RIGHTS
Don’t be fooled by imitators. The FRA TAKES ACTION.
The Fishing Rights
Alliance Shark Tank is BUSY.
To all of our brothers
and sisters in our fishing communities: The FRA will file a lawsuit
against National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) over the in-season
closure of Gulf of Mexico recreational Greater Amberjack. The effects
of this closure will cause further (and unnecessary) harm the
recreational sector. The suit will be filed in federal court in Tampa
The NMFS has
overstepped its bounds by using the fatally-flawed Marine Recreational
Fishing Statistical Survey (MRFSS) as an in-season quota monitoring
tool, giving less than five days notice that they closed Gulf
Recreational Greater Amberjack for the remainder of 2009.
MRFSS has a specific
limitation on its data. It takes a long time to compile and correct the
data. MRFSS is unsuitable for use as an in-season quota monitoring
tool. MRFSS data is not even finalized until June of the YEAR
FOLLOWING THE DATA COLLECTION. So this year's data will not even be
final until June of NEXT YEAR.
Dr. Crabtree chose to
ignore the US Congress’ National Research Council report that stated
that MRFSS was never designed for, nor is it capable of being used as an
in-season quota monitoring tool. The MRFSS data is simply fatally
flawed. Yet we have an administrator that seems to know better than the
National Research Council. In what many see as punitive action,
recreational anglers were given less than 5 days notice of the closure.
If we were to let this go unchallenged, it would pave the way for NMFS
to close Gag, Red Snapper, sand perch.... you name it.
FEED THE SHARKS!
RECREATIONAL GREATER AMBERJACK CLOSES ON OCT 24
In 2008, NOAA Fisheries Service implemented
recreational quota of 1.368 million pounds for greater
amberjack harvested in the Gulf of Mexico.
Recreational landings data indicate the
quota has been met. Therefore, in accordance with the
regulations, beginning at 12:01 a.m., local time, on
October 24, 2009, the recreational fishery for greater
amberjack in federal waters is closed. The
recreational harvest and possession of greater amberjack
in or from federal waters will be prohibited through the
end of the current fishing year, December 31, 2009. A
person aboard a vessel for which a federal charter
vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish has been issued
must also abide by this provision in state waters.
note :RECREATIONAL LANDINGS
DATA COMES FROM THE FATALLY FLAWED MRFSS (Marine Recreational Fishing
Statistical Survey). Watch for a call to action in the next few
View the official
announcement in .pdf -
Council meets next week in Texas
October 19 - 22, 2009
Holiday Inn - Emerald Beach
1102 S. Shoreline
Corpus Christi, TX 78401
Here is the
agenda with some comments on what to watch for. The meeting can be
viewed live at
www.thefra.org/fisheyewide.htm. The viewing page also has the full
agenda listed for your reference.
NOTE: ALL TIMES ARE CENTRAL TIME,
WHICH IS ONE HOUR BEHIND EASTERN TIME.
at 3 PM they will start with the ecosystem issues, including working
with the new Allowable Biological Catch rule
(ABC). This rule will be used to lower the allowable catch due to
‘uncertainty’. Better pay attention, folks. This is something that
will frame management goals for years to come.
from 8:30 until 4, there will be discussions on the
red and gag grouper closures, finishing with
sector separation. NOTE- separate the recreational sector into
what- those who pay a pro guide and those who don’t?
Crabtree in open discussion with an informal group at 5:30 PM
8:30 am – 12:00 pm and 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Reef Fish Management Committee (Tab B)
Gag/Red Grouper Amendment Scoping Document (RF Am 32)
Select Scoping Hearing Locations
Presentation on the New ESA Biological Opinion Analyzing
the Gulf Reef Fish Fishery and its Effects on Listed Species - Lee
Alternative Options for Red Snapper Recreational Season
Modifications to regulations in Amendment 29
Terms of Reference for Greater Amberjack, Yellowedge
Grouper, and Tilefish Assessments
Hook Limit Analyses for Amendment 31
Develop LAPP AP Charge
Discussion on Sector Separation
Informal Q&A session with Roy Crabtree – a must watch!
day with the Mackerel management committee. IFQ’s will be pushed for
the rec sector here.
council meeting starts at 10:30. At 10:45, tune in to hear the latest
on catch shares (IFQ’s). Then we go to public testimony in the
from 8:30 to 1, the full council will cover all of the agenda items, as
a. Reef Fish Management
(Tab B) – Minton (8:30 am – 10:00 am)
Administrative Policy (Tab E) – Morris (10:00 am – 10:30 am)
Collection (Tab F) – Riechers (10:30 am – 10:45 am)
d. Spiny Lobster/Stone Crab Management (Tab H) – Teehan (10:45 am
– 11:00 am)
Fisheries/Ecosystem (Tab G) – Gill (11:00 am – 11:30 am)
f. Coastal Migratory Pelagics (Mackerel) Management – Teehan
(11:30 am –noon)
g. Shrimp Management (Tab D) – Perret
(12:00 noon – 12:15 pm)
h. AP Selection Committee (Tab J) –
Perret(12:15 pm – 12:30 pm)
i. SEDAR Selection Committee (Tab I) –
Shipp (12:30 pm – 12:45 pm)
Meeting ends at 1.
Item posted 10/16/09
BLACK AND RED GROUPER STOCK ASSESSMENTS LIVE
Sit in on a stock assessment. This week in St.
Petersburg, FL, a pair of stock assessments is being conducted: Red
Grouper in the South Atlantic and Black Grouper in the Gulf and South
Take an hour or two to stop by and sit in on the
week long discussion of modeling techniques and applications. At least
you will get a feel for the size and scope of the assessment workshops.
These are the SEDAR workshops (South East Data
Assessment and Review) that are typical of the stock assessment
workshops that brought us such wonders as the Red Tide model. It is
worth a couple of hours of your time.
The workshop is scheduled for Monday, starting at 1
PM through Friday at 1 PM.
That is this week, October 5 – 9, at the Hilton in
DOWNTOWN St. Pete.
Watch it on FRA’s webTV. Go to
CLOSING PERMIT TO ALL REC TAKE?
The State of Florida is considering action on the
fish commonly called PERMIT.
Possible actions include the banning of take in
state and federal waters, prohibition of currently allowed spearfishing
gear for permit and a significant reduction in allowable take.
All of these actions are being considered even
though the STOCK IS IN GOOD SHAPE.
All because of the narrow minded view of some flats
anglers in the Keys who think it should all be caught and released,
throughout the whole state.
There are meetings tonight in St. Petersburg and
tomorrow night in Fort Myers.
A recording of the St. Pete presentation will be
available on the FRA.s website for later viewing, along with links for
submitting comments to the FWC Commissioners.