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Entries in recreational fishing (56)

Thursday
Jul172014

Feds Threaten Recreational Red Snapper Fishery

Recreational fishing for red snapper in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico could become a thing of the past if anglers don't stand up and voice their outrage over a proposal by the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council. Even worse, if the council is not stopped, a precedent will be set and a model established for privatizing other sport fisheries in public waters.

This is the good ol' Catch Shares scheme that Activist Angler has been warning about for several years.

Here is what the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation has to say:

Federal management of Gulf red snapper is allowing only nine recreational fishing days in 2014 for a variety of reasons, including overly rigid statutory requirements, lawsuits and political influence by commercial and environmental organizations.

Rather than work to develop real solutions to the challenges facing recreational red snapper management, the Council is proposing to create further division and infighting among stakeholders by subdividing the recreational sector. The recreational fishing community has a small window of time to stop this troubling amendment from moving forward, but we must organize and act quickly.

And here's a joint statement from the sportfishing industry

The Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council is currently moving ahead on a proposed amendment that will pit segments of the recreational fi shing community against each other without addressing the fundamental problems with recreational red snapper management.

Amendment 40, also known as “sector separation”, will divide the recreational angler’s 49% share of the snapper fishery roughly in half between private recreational anglers and charter-for-hire and head boat owners (even though many charter boat owners don’t support dividing the recreational catch).

Federal management of Gulf red snapper has been brought to such an abysmal point of only 9 recreational days in 2014 for a variety of reasons, including overly rigid statutory requirements, lawsuits and political influence by commercial and environmental organizations. Rather than work to develop real solutions to the challenges facing recreational red snapper management, the Council is proposing to create further division and infighting among stakeholders by subdividing the recreational sector. The recreational fishing community has a small window of time to stop this troubling amendment from moving forward, but we must mobilize and act quickly.

Call to Action – The next two Gulf Council meetings will decide the fate of our access to our fishery, and these meetings are our last chance to turn the tide. You need to be there for the day of the public hearing (TBD) and speak out against sector separation. Visit Keep America Fishing for updates on the day and time for the critical public testimony.

August 25 - 29, 2014

Beau Rivage

875 Beach Blvd.

Biloxi, MS 39530

 

October 20 - 24, 2014

Renaissance Battle House

26 N. Royal Street

Mobile, AL 36602

 

When it comes to Council decisions, personal testimony at the meetings can be the deciding factor. Attend the public hearings and speak against dividing the recreational component into two different sectors because:

• Dividing the recreational sector further by expanding the commercial model to half of the recreational sector isn’t a solution, it’s a recipe for more hardships with many charter boat owners and all private recreational anglers. The solution is not to divide the recreational community, but to collectively push for a system of management that is appropriate for the entire recreational sector.

• Despite what the commercial industry and environmental groups proclaim, recreational anglers (both private and for-hire components) have been “accountable." We abide by the regulations and do what we are asked to do. It’s the federal system of fisheries management that has been “unaccountable” and failed the recreational community as a whole.

This type of management philosophy, for all practical purposes, will effectively eliminate the red snapper recreational season in federal waters for the private angler. It will be nearly impossible for someone to trailer their boat to the Gulf or schedule vacation around what will likely be two or three days of snapper season.

NOAA Fisheries has failed to provide any credible analysis of the economic impacts of this course of management.

This isn’t just a threat for Gulf of Mexico red snapper anglers. If the red snapper recreational component in the Gulf is allowed to be divided and privatized, it will set a precedent and create a model for other popular sportfish fisheries in the Gulf and along a coast near you.

Monday
Jun162014

More Money Wasted by Humane Society of United States

The growing animal rights movement threatens not only recreational fishing, but hunting, farming, and medical research.

The problem is that they use concern for animal welfare, which all of us share, as a Trojan horse to raise funds and increase their political clout.

In other words, most of the money donated to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and other such groups does not go to benefit abused dogs and cats in local animal shelters.  In a clever parody of how the money really is used, HumaneWatch created a video parody entitled Lawyers in Cages.

Now, HumaneWatch has discovered something else: HSUS also is using donations to buy body armor, as well as official-looking badges.

“Here’s why this is silly: HSUS does occasionally assist law enforcement in conducting raids on dogfighters. But there’s no way that any law enforcement agency would ever put volunteers in a situation where they might be in the line of fire. The police will make arrests, and HSUS will assist in collecting evidence/seizing dogs afterward.”

HumaneWatch adds that money used for these expensive, but needless, vests could be going to feed animals in shelters.

Yes, please, donate to help feed and care for abused dogs and cats and to help them find homes. But donate locally!

Monday
Jun022014

Bass to Angler: 'See You in Court'

Visualize a PETA lawyer taking you to court on behalf of a bass. That’s what is coming.

If you fish and/or hunt and are not paying attention to the growing animal rights movement, you are ignoring reality and the threat that zealots pose to these American traditions.

Here is what animal rights advocates want:

  • No fishing
  • No hunting
  • No use of animals in medical research
  • No livestock in agriculture
  • No consumption of beef, pork, and poultry
  • No zoos
  • No circuses
  • And, oh yes, the same legal rights that humans have 

Check out this recent commentary at Powerline

“I managed to provoke fury in a graduate student earlier this semester when I expressed skepticism about animal rights by observing that I’d take the idea more seriously when we entered into labor contracts with our horses and livestock, and asked our pets for informed consent statements before subjecting them to the ministrations of a veterinarian. 

“Expressing such distinctions between human beings and other animal species is nearly as politically incorrect as questioning gender theory, gay marriage, climate change orthodoxy, etc.”

It goes without saying that animal abuse in any form should not be tolerated, and, sadly, too much of it continues to occur. But the most radical--- and active--- of the animal rights advocates are campaigning for far more than that. They want to deny use of animals in any way, and they want them to have the same rights as you and me, with their lawyers representing them in courts.

And here’s more: Legislature worries more about animal misery than human misery. 

Friday
May302014

Magnuson-Stevens Needs to Address Goals, Needs of Recreational Anglers

Photo by Robert Montgomery

As Congress considers changes in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), a coalition of angling advocate groups says that not enough consideration is being given to recreational fishing.

“Since its inception, the Magnuson-Stevens Act has focused primarily on commercial fisheries to the detriment of the nation’s 11 million recreational fishermen and the nearly half a million jobs they support,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation.

“Revising the law in a way that incorporates the goals and needs of anglers is long overdue. Our community has put forward the policy changes that will set the foundation for an effective saltwater fisheries management system, but we need Congress’ help by enacting these common sense and non-partisan policies.”

The recommendations offered by the Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management, commonly known as the Morris-Deal Commission, include the following:

  • Establishing a national policy for recreational fishing
  • Adopting a revised approach to saltwater recreational fisheries management
  • Allocating marine fisheries for the greatest benefit to the nation
  • Creating reasonable latitude in stock rebuilding timelines
  • Codifying a process for cooperative management
  • Managing for the forage base

MSA is the primary law governing management of marine fisheries, and critics argue that On May 30, the House Natural Resources Committee approved a reauthorization bill, H.R. 4742, also entitled the “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act.”

 “While we appreciate Chairman Doc Hasting’s interest and efforts in Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization, we would like to have seen more done in this bill to address the needs of the recreational fishing community,” said Mike Nussman, president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association.

“This bill includes several provisions that we support, such as easing the strict implementation of annual catch limits and improving stock assessments for data poor fisheries, but unfortunately our top priorities are not meaningfully addressed.”

“In addition to overlooking the priorities of the Morris-Deal Commission, we are also disappointed that the federal management failure with red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico is not resolved in H.R. 4742,” added Patrick Murray, president of the Coastal Conservation Association.

“A comprehensive overhaul of red snapper management is the only way to get us out of this mess. It’s vital that Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization addresses this management train-wreck by transferring Gulf red snapper management over to the states, which are much better equipped to successfully manage this important fishery.”

After passing out of committee, H.R. 4742 now awaits a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives. The Senate Commerce Committee is expected to unveil its Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization bill in the near future. With limited floor time before the November elections, many experts believe that full Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization may not occur until the next session of Congress.

“We understand that Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization likely has a long road ahead before a final bill gets signed into law, so we are hopeful that working with our friends in Congress, we can get the recreational fishing and boating community’s priorities addressed,” said Angers.

“We’ve been waiting a long time to bring focus toward improving saltwater recreational fisheries management, and there’s too much at stake to let this reauthorization pass without making the necessary changes that will establish a management system that works for – not against – recreational fishermen.”

Friday
May232014

Time to Introduce Someone to Fishing

With summer here, please make it your mission to introduce someone to fishing. If you haven’t done it before, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how enjoyable it is for you as well as your student, especially if he or she is a child.

Here’s a primer from Take Me Fishing on setting the hook. One of the things that I’ve discovered over the years is that beginners often do not know what you mean when you say “set the hook.” Their immediate impulse is to just start reeling line.

So take the time to tell beginners what you mean before you tell them to do it.

And don't take it too seriously if your students don't get it right immediately. Fishing is fun, remember?

“The angler forgets most of the fish he catches, but he does not forget the streams and lakes in which they are caught.” Charles K. Fox

He also remembers the person who first took him fishing.