We publish Important news for all fisherman on our Fort Myers fishing charters web site to help keep you informed. Thanks to Keep America Fishing and the other industry organizations we belong to for their hard work defending our recreational fishing rights.
The South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (SAFMC) is getting ready to meet in Georgia and there are two items on the agenda that need your attention.
A few months ago, we told you about a plan the SAFMC was considering called “Limited Entry” that could lead to limiting your access to snapper, grouper, dolphin, wahoo, and mackerel.
After hearing from anglers like you, the Council decided to remove all species from Limited Entry except for the snapper-grouper category. While this is a step in the right direction, they are still looking to limit the number of captains allowed to take recreational anglers out fishing for the most popular sportfish in the South Atlantic.
But it gets worse – the SAFMC will also be considering an “exempted fishing permit” (EFP) that would establish catch shares for six popular sportfish species – blueline tilefish, gag grouper, gray triggerfish, greater amberjack, the jacks complex and vermilion snapper – for a group calling itself the South Atlantic Commercial Fishing Collaborative. A “catch share” is a designated portion of the catch for a species allocated to individuals or groups.
This group is using the federal exempted fishing permit process to establish a two-year pilot program to assign catch shares for those species. In this proposal, these catch shares would be limited to a maximum of 25 commercial vessels.
Some of the very people in charge of fairly managing these public resources are using the system to put themselves in a position to own a public resource.
If implemented, these policies could eventually have a significant effect on your opportunity to catch important species of sportfish in federal South Atlantic waters.
What can you do? Tell the SAFMC to ditch Limited Entry and scuttle the Exempted Fishing Permit today!
Helping to Keep You Informed
Good fishing and tight lines!
Capt Eric Anderson
What A Hawg Charters
Fort Myers Fishing Charters