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Entries in fishing closures (5)


Help Stop Attempts to Ban Recreational Fishing Off New England Coast

Anti-fishing groups are asking the Obama Administration to ban recreational fishing off portions of New England, significantly impacting the recreational marine community in the Northeast and setting a precedent for future closures across the country’s coastal areas.

Despite zero evidence to suggest recreational fishing poses a threat to the habitat or fish populations in these areas, these groups are lobbying the government to include a ban on recreational fishing if, and when, it designates a large section of the Northern Atlantic as a new Marine National Monument.

You better believe if these groups get their way, they won’t stop. And with more than a year left in the White House, the Administration could soon be adding similar bans across more and more offshore waters. 

We can’t let that happen. We can’t let anti-fishing groups dictate the government’s agenda. We need to respond.


Fishing Groups Hopeful for Less Restrictive Management at Biscayne National Park

Last year, the National Park Service announced that its preferred alternative for managing Florida’s Biscayne National Park includes closing up to 20 percent of the park’s waters to fishing.

But now a coalition of national boating and fishing organizations is optimistic that a less restrictive outcome is possible, based on recent and ongoing discussions between the National Park Service (NPS) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

  “As representatives of America’s leading recreational fishing and boating organizations, we are highly interested in the management of Biscayne National Park, one of the country's largest urban recreational fishing and boating areas. Biscayne National Park is a jewel in the national park system and helps support Florida’s $19 billion recreational fishing and boating economy and the associated 250,000 jobs,” the coalition said in a recent letter to NPS and FWC.

And it added this:

“We remind you that the marine reserve zones proposed in the draft GMP are inherently fisheries management tools, and should only be considered as a last resort and only after other, less restrictive options have failed.

“Other management options, such as more restrictive fishing regulations for certain species, species-specific spawning closures and a mechanism to pay for improved enforcement and education of park regulations could be equally or more effective than a marine reserve in rebuilding the park’s fisheries resources.

“We understand the desire of park managers to provide a different user experience for other activities, but we believe this can be accomplished without closing large areas of the park to fishing and boating.”

Here’s a September statement from the NPS and FWC about their discussions.

Coalition members include the American Sportfishing Association, Center for Coastal Conservation, Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and National Marine Manufacturers Association.


RFA Critical of Fishery Science Improvement Act

The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) asserts that the Fishery Science Improvement Act HR2309 and S1916 does nothing to “fix the science” in an attempt to prevent fishing closures.

 "Because it has science in its title and is being promoted by lobbyists at the boating and fishing trade groups, many industry members and sportswriters believe it can actually help anglers," said Jim Hutchinson, RFA’s managing director.

"Sadly, fishermen on the water who would be directly impacted by the legislation who've actually read the bill seem to agree that it doesn't do anything to improve science nor will it have much positive impact on their ability to keep on fishing."

Hutchinson said a more comprehensive House bill sponsored by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), the Flexibility and Access in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act of 2011, would be better. Read more here


Act Now in Support of Legislation to Stop Fishing Closures


In June, KeepAmericaFishing™ asked anglers to support the Fishery Science Improvement Act, legislation introduced in the House of Representatives that will stop federal officials from arbitrarily setting restrictive catch limits on many important marine sportfish. Now that a companion bill has been introduced in the Senate, we need your help again to ensure passage of this important legislation before it’s too late and unnecessary catch restrictions are put into place!


Send a message to your members of Congress today, asking them to support this common-sense legislation that will help ensure a future for our marine resources and a future for recreational angling.

 As amended in 2006, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act requires Regional Fishery Management Councils and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) to put in place annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs) for every fishery by December 31, 2011. The requirements were predicated on two critical assumptions:

  • NOAA Fisheries would make decisions based on up-to-date and accurate stock assessments.
  • NOAA Fisheries would improve catch data to better anticipate potential problems in a given fishery.

Neither of these obligations has been met and the results will be overly restrictive regulations and closures for recreational fishing.

Guesswork has no place in the management of America’s natural resources, and poorly-planned ACLs will have significant negative impacts on anglers and the businesses and communities dependent on our nation’s fisheries.

The Fisheries Science Improvement Act, H.R. 2304 in the House and S. 1916 in the Senate, seeks to ensure that the NOAA Fisheries sets catch limits based on scientific data, not on guesswork, as is currently happening for many recreationally important species such as wahoo, cobia and mahi mahi.

For more information, view the FSIA Fact Sheet.

Click here to send a message to your members of Congress in support of the Fishery Science Improvement Act and help ensure a better future for our marine fisheries resources and a future for recreational angling.


It's Tea Party Time for Recreational Fishermen, Starting at Walmart

The Recreational Fishing Alliance is calling for a boycott of Walmart because the Walmart Family Foundation donates millions of dollars to organizations that seek to damage and/or destroy recreational fishing.

I reluctantly agree.

I say “reluctantly” because boycotts are one of the legitimate strategies employed by unions, which also often resort to intimidation, vandalism, and other types of thuggery. These days especially, unions and their tactics are not looked upon favorably by many Americans.

And I say “reluctantly” because those who work and shop at Walmart are our friends, contrary to those who hand out the money at the Walton Family Foundation and those who belong to groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund and the Ocean Conservancy. Also, those who manage Walmart stores have nothing to do with the foundation’s actions.

But I also say that it’s time for a boycott because a great opportunity exists here to educate people around the threat that preservationist organizations pose to public access to public resources, including our oceans, rivers, and lakes.

You might say that it’s Tea Party time for recreational fishermen.