The Gulf of Mexico is ground zero for the assault on recreational angling. That’s because commercial fishermen are colluding with the anti-fishing Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to further restrict the red snapper fishery for sport fishermen.
The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) asserts that a lawsuit “argues how recreational fishermen aren’t being punished enough by our federal government.”
It also says this:
“The Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance is a group of commercial fishermen in the Gulf, specifically owners of individual fishing quota (IFQ) and red snapper ‘catch shares’ – who are themselves supported financially by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
“The lawsuit through K&L Gates would force more restrictive accountability measures on recreational anglers in the Gulf of Mexico.
“An ‘accountability measure’ is punishment for catching too many fish; one such punishment is an in-season closure, another is a harvest payback of any overage. The final ‘accountability measure’ which would forever change the way we fish is the IFQ or ‘catch share’ for the recreational sector.”
Catch Shares is a scheme pushed insistently by this administration to manage fisheries by turning a public resource into a private commodity. Mostly it is directed at commercial fisheries, as individuals are allotted shares of the overall allowed harvest. But if used with a mixed fishery, it could have catastrophic consequences for recreational angling, as an infinite number of anglers are restricted to a limited collective share.
The reality, meanwhile, is that recreational anglers harvest only about 2 percent of marine species. Commercials take the rest. Yet recreational fishing, with minimal harvest, is more beneficial to the economy.
RFA is soliciting help to combat this attack. Go here to learn more.