South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council
JOIN THE FRA IN FIGHTING FOR YOUR
Your very right to fish is at stake.
The South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council will
hold a series of public hearings from January 24 to February 3 on
SEVEN different amendments. You can submit email or written comments until
February 14, 2011 at 5 PM Eastern.For
an easy way to submit comments, go to
Scroll down for a
list of legislators. Below is live video, if available, of the
public input hearing at Cocoa Beach, FL. TO START THE
VIDEO, CLICK THE SMALL ARROW IN THE LOWER LEFT CORNER OF THE VIDEO
There are SEVEN
Scroll down for
FRA guidance on
will be held on
Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit Amendment
to establish Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures
for species not currently listed as undergoing overfishing
as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and
Management Act. Annual Catch Limits (pounds or numbers of
fish) will be set for species in the snapper grouper
management complex as well as dolphin, wahoo, and golden
Summary(PDF) Email comments to:
Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 2
includes actions relative to the management of octocorals
and non-regulatory actions that update existing Essential
Fish Habitat (EFH) information. Also, modifications to the
management of Special Management Zones in South Carolina,
sea turtle release gear requirements for the commercial
snapper grouper fishery, and designation of new EFH areas.
CE-BA 2 Public Hearing
CE-BA 2 Public Hearing Document (PDF - 7.2 MB). Email
will be taken on
(Amendment 21) is
to look at
Tuesday, February 1 - Cocoa Beach, FL
International Palms Resort
1300 N. Atlantic Avenue
Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
Thursday, February 3 - Key Largo, FL
Key Largo Grande
97000 S. Overseas Highway
Key Largo, FL 33037
Public Hearings are scheduled from 3:00 pm until 7:00 pm
Monday, January 24
New Bern, NC
Hilton New Bern
100 Middle Street
New Bern, NC 28560
Wednesday, January 26
North Charleston, SC
Crown Plaza Charleston Airport
4831 Tanger Outlet Boulevard
N. Charleston, SC 29418
Thursday, January 27 Pooler, GA
Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum
175 Bourne Avenue
Pooler, GA 31322
Monday, January 31 Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville Marriott Hotel
4670 Salisbury Road
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Guidance on comments:
I wish I could tell you that public input carries weight
with the Council. Sadly, it appears as though that is not
the case. HOWEVER, your comments become part of the public
record. That public record DOES carry weight with your
YOUR GOVERNOR appoints your state representatives to the
Council. Your CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES provide the
funding for the Council and the National Marine Fisheries
Service. Your comments for the record will be used to
indicate to our elected officials that you did speak out and
you were ignored.
We simply must stop this train now.
comment at the public hearing
Fill out a public input card which will be available at the meeting (you
will be limited to 3 minutes so be ready with your notes!)
2.When you’re called, state your name, your affiliation (FRA, Fishing Club
affiliations, etc) what type of angler you are.
3.Tell them what your impression is of the present status of the fishery
4.Tell them if the science used to establish this rule iconflicts with your personal observations.
Seven different amendments at once?
What rationale was used to generate this debacle?
We do not know how much time will be allotted
for each speaker. They key is to be on the record as making
comments. If you do not want to speak, you can write your comments
on a piece of paper and submit them at the public input hearings, or
you can email them to the addresses below. We recommend that you
write all of your comments in one letter, then simply send it to all
of the email comment addresses listed for each amendment. You
should not have to do seven different emails for one comment
Your comments will stand out more if they are
individually created, as opposed to copy and paste.
At least try to write in the first paragraph
who you are, where you live, where you fish, what you fish for, if
you have a business that is related to fishing, why fishing is
important to you and to our economy, if you own a boat and more.
This will carry weight when you contact your
legislators about these issues. You MUST make a comment by email or
ACL’s are not supposed to be implemented until
AFTER the recreational data collection system is repaired. That is
still years from happening. To establish ACL’s based on fatally
flawed data is irresponsible and will result in lost jobs, lost
economic activity, loss of heritage and more. It will, in fact RUIN
SOME PEOPLE’S LIVES. Based on uncertainty?
This entire process is wrong. None of the ACL
framework takes into account any increased landings that ALWAYS
result from a rebuilding fishery. Failure to take this into account
causes further economic damage, further loss of jobs and further
erosion of our heritage. As a reward for a rebounding or expanding
fishery, more people’s lives will be ruined, forever. Does anyone
realize what happens when a person is put out of business? Economic
pressures are bad enough, but when fatally flawed data and
‘uncertainty’ combine to ruin people’s lives and cost our state
jobs, we have truly reached to point of insanity.
You are way over the line on establishing
ACL’s. Magnuson’s intent is being twisted to reduce or eliminate
fishing effort. Uncertainty of management is being translated into
certainty of job loss and reduction in economic activity.
We suspect that this is part of the squeeze
play to force catch shares upon the participants in the fisheries.
Grouper Regulatory Amendment 9
Trip limits should be considered for a
preferred method of management, as they provide some protection from
market glut, and they help to prevent overcapitalization of
individual fishing boats.
Accountability Measures (AM’s) (ACL’s) should
include carry-over of unrealized allowable catch. This would help
with the balancing of the cyclical nature of the size of a stock’s
given year class. Rebounding stocks will penalize fishermen,
causing Annual Catch Limits to be reached quickly, thereby kicking
in Accountability Measures which will further penalize the fisherman
beyond the reach of the ACL itself.
We are concerned that ACL’s and AM’s are overly
broad and punitive, failing to take into account the certainty with
which jobs will be lost, economic activity will be decreased, and
lives will be ruined.
Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 2
Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR
SOON-TO-BE NO FISHING ZONE
Act 2 alt 1 DO NOT usurp management power from the Gulf Council.
Where are you getting the additional resources in these times of
budget cuts and economic downturn.
No action on Action 9
This appears to be an attempt to install a system which allows for
the elimination of all effort to protect one species. A federal
judge has declared that practice illegal. We urge the Council to
choose to follow the spirit and letter of federal law. We are
concerned that any excess mortality on one species would lead to a
complete closure of a wide range of species.
There is no biological threat, so this is an unwarranted economic
Long term economic growth is impaired, even though no biological
Action 6 and 7 and 8 and 9 will have excessive and unnecessary
economic impacts on the residents of the coastal states. There is
no biological threat and no quantifiable benefit, nor is there a
defined mechanism or set of indicators which would produce the
warning of such a threat. It would require additional management
resources, detracting from the more significant problem of data
collection. It would also add an unnecessary layer of management to
other species. There is little information available on sargassum
and there is no biological threat or need.
of NO CATCH SHARES did you NOT hear the first time around?
The FRA adamantly opposed the use of catch shares in recreational
fisheries. We further opposed the use of catch shares in fisheries
which are shared by commercial and the recreational sector.
Any commercial catch share program should not give ownership of
shares to any individual or group, rather, it should allow any
revenue generated from sales of shares to be used to manage the
system and enhance the resource.
Grouper Amendment 22
We said NO CATCH SHARES
A tagging program would be unmanageable. Individual tags for fish
would create a management problem of epic proportions. NMFS can’t
even accurately estimate fishing effort and landings now, yet we are
to believe that EVERY FISH counted would be an achievable goal? The
only thing certain about a tag program would be the loss of
opportunity for the recreational angler to fish, Why not use all
this money and FIX THE REC DATA COLLECTION problem AND RUN MORE
Try adjusting the annual catch limits to allow for a rebounding
stock. How come more fish caught means overfishing and less fish
caught means overfished? What about CPUE Catch Per Unit of Effort?
What about all the jobs lost over uncertainty? People’s lives are
being destroyed while the fisheries thrive. This is not right, nor
will we stand for it.
The for-hire operators have no way of tracking their catch relative
to anything else. They would have a GREAT incentive to misreport
their landings and inflate their landings history if they think it
will result in additional allowable landings or ‘shares’.
The angler who catches the fish should not lose his/her right to
that fish just because the angler did not own a boat. Sector
separation is no wanted in the Gulf and it is not wanted in the
The fish belong to the recreational angler, not the captain who took
the angler fishing, Catch shares in the recreational sector are
unwanted, unwelcome and will CERTAINLY destroy the opportunity to
fish for generations to come.
Grouper Amendment 24
The FRA opposes any reallocation based on the fatally flawed MRFSS
We adamantly oppose any notion of giving ownership of any fisheries
to for hire operators. The operators amount to a high end boat ride
with a knowledgeable captain. We fail to understand how this
captain would be entitled to own any shared of a fish that he did