Thursday, March 05, 2009

by Robin

I'm reeling! (no pun intended) I've got rage. Raw emotions. I'm stunned.

If you've been following my blog the past month, you will know that I've posted a few times about the possible Snapper fishing ban and that I gave my testimony last month to the SAFMC about how snapper fishing has been coming back in recent years. Very few fishermen went fishing over last summer because prices were so high on gas. There has been very little fishing pressure the past 12 mo from the recreational fishermen.

There seems to be no reliable research that proves the fishery is in decline. If it were, wouldn't it make sense to close it down commercially as well, since they take about 95% of the fish and recreational fishermen only get about 5%???????

Anyhow, George Geiger, the one I spoke to, moved the ban from 4 months to 6 months this morning and it PASSED the interim rule 7-6 in favor of the ban.

They have moved into a full council mtg this afternoon to discuss and vote on it again. THIS IS RIDICULOUS. It's almost like somebody is getting paid under the table to close down fishing to the recreational fishermen and send the fish & money to the commercial folks. I've never seen a process so skewed and lacking in evidence, on the local level. It makes no sense.

If this outrages you, and it should, please take a few minutes to fill out the below form to fight the Grouper and Golden Tilefish legislative changes as well.

GROUPER - deadline is Mon the 9th.

Fill out the form and express you objections to these new regs Summary table of current and proposed regulations for the South Atlantic. Grouper aggregate bag limit Now - 5 fish Amendment 16 - 3 fish Gag/black grouper bag limit within grouper aggregate Now - 2 gag or black grouper (combined) Amendment 16 - 1 gag or black Vermilion snapper bag limit Now - 10 fish Amendment 16 - 5 fish Shallow-water grouper* closed season Now - none Amendment 16 - January - April Vermilion snapper closed season Now- none Amendment 16 - November - March

GOLDEN TILEFISH - deadline 3/23
This fishery is divided up 98% commercial and 2% recreational. Even if you don't fish this species (including me), you should still voice your concern that access to these fish should be fair and equitable for recreational & commercial alike.

Gee, wish I could post "Happy Fishing", but I'm a little mad at this point.

Edited: Before I could even finish the report, word came in the Georgia supported the closure.

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