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Entries in RFA (6)


Join the Fight with RFA and Get Chance to Win Costa Rica Trip

Costa Rica salifsh goes aerial. Photo copyright Robert Montgomery

You have a few more days to join the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) and be entered into a random drawing to win a fishing trip for two to Zancudo Lodge in Costa Rica.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, RFA is the loud, rowdy guy in the room when the discussion is the loss of our rights to fish. “Compromise” generally is not in its vocabulary.

Recently, Dr. Jane Lubchenco of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ---  and Public Enemy No. 1 when it comes to endangering our rights to fish --- asked Congress for additional funding for Catch Shares, a federal scheme that would limit access, while allowing a few to profit from a public resource.

In response, RFA Executive Director Jim Donofrio said this:

"By commoditizing a public resource and placing share distinctions on individual fishes, what the catch share policy would do is give big corporations and wealthy non-profit groups the ability to buy up all the harvest for themselves, leaving individual anglers and coastal communities standing at the dock with nothing.

 "This whole orchestrated effort by Dr. Lubchenco and her friends at Environmental Defense Fund is nothing more than a resource grab which will destroy our marine industry and take away access for millions of Americans.

"I can't fathom how Dr. Lubchenco can claim to support best available science when her Administration is asking Congress for money, not to improve stock assessments and data collection, but for coastal sharecropping schemes which will destroy our mom and pop businesses along the coast.”

So . . . want to support RFA in the fight? If so, join today, while you still can be entered in the Costa Rica contest.

Here’s what RFA says about the three-day trip:

“Located along the scenic Pacific Coast of Costa Rica on the bay of Golfo Dulce, just 4 miles from Golfito, the Zancudo Lodge is a world-class destination for anglers looking to hook up marlin, sails, dorado, tuna, roosterfish, snapper, giant jacks, trevally, and many others.”


Red Snapper Fishery Closed as Feds Continue to Use Flawed Data

The recreational season for red snapper in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico is now closed. And the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council says this restriction “was established to limit the harvest of red snapper in the Gulf and help rebuild overfished stocks so that anglers can enjoy better red snapper fishing in the future.”

But the Recreational Fishing Alliance points out that the red snapper was officially delisted as an overfished stock in 2009, and charges that “anglers have been rewarded with a measly 48-day season in 2011, the shortest season on record for red snapper fishery, with a June 1 start date.”

RFA Executive Director Jim Donofrio adds:

"Accountability measures and rigid annual catch limits coupled with a broken recreational data collection system have made this idealized goal of fisheries management completely unattainable, and until significant reforms can be made to the federal fisheries law, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is being disingenuous by continuing to make statements about our future.”

 RFA says fishermen have been pleading with NOAA for additional leeway and management flexibility ever since the federal fisheries law (Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act) was reauthorized by Congress in 2007.

"Rigid timelines and annual catch limits based on flawed harvest data have been devastating to our recreational fishing industry, and America's anglers are growing frustrated by the lack of response from the federal fisheries service," Donofrio continues. "We've had enough moratoriums on angler access. What we need right now is improved data collection methodologies as required by law."

An attempt to fix the problem was introduced into Congress in June as the Fishery Science Improvement Act, according to the American Sportfishing Association.

“The sportfishing community is facing an unacceptable situation in which arbitrary deadlines are being allowed to trump the essential need for science-based management of our marine resources. We are grateful to Mr. Wittman (Rep. Rob Wittman of Virginia) and his colleagues for identifying the problem we have in federal saltwater fisheries and taking action on this issue,” says Jeff Crane of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.


Safeway Chain No Friend of Recreational Anglers

Its intentions might be good, but Safeway, one of the nation’s largest supermarket chains, is making a big mistake by endorsing California’s Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA).

In doing so, it is alienating millions of recreational anglers. That action also has prompted the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) to call for a boycott of Safeway.

Following a philosophical agenda instead of science, anti-fishing activists and their political allies are using the MLPA like a club to close California waters to recreational fishing. Their motivation has nothing to do with creating sustainable fisheries. They are all about hands-off preservation instead of stewardship and conservation.

"If Safeway is betting that the saltwater anglers of America will continue shopping at their stores while they arbitrarily cut off our public access to our public resources they are greatly mistaken," said Jim Martin, West Coast regional director of the RFA. "In California, we already know how this ends up, and it's time to educate anglers about corporations like Safeway that steal our fishing heritage through their support of an anti-fisherman agenda."

To learn more, go here, and to download a letter to sign and send to Safeway expressing your support for the Stay Away from Safeway campaign, go here.


Your Right to Fish at Stake as Catch Shares Battle Heats Up

A battle over the right to fish is being waged in Washington, D.C., according to the Recreational Fishing Alliance.

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and its allies in the Obama administration are on one side. Led by Dr. Jane Lubchenco, they are pressuring Congress to endorse a Catch Shares strategy to manage the ocean’s fisheries.

Fisheries advocates are fighting back.

As presented now, this allocation system would apply only to commercial and mixed (commercial and recreational) fisheries, with recreational only fisheries exempt from this big-government takeover. But many who have watched the feds use Magnuson-Stevens to close fisheries and create a National Ocean Council to dictate where you can and cannot fish, doubt the trustworthiness of those who are pushing this preservationist agenda.



AA Term of the Week: Overfishing

Want another example of tactics used by the preservationist wing of the environmental movement to ban recreational fishing wherever possible? Check out Jim Hutchinson's "Overfishing: A Term of Art" at the Recreational Fishing Alliance website.  Here's an excerpt:

"In the world of fisheries management, there is no finer example of term of art than the word overfishing. In 1996, the word was officially stolen from conservation-minded anglers and fishing industry leaders, re-written specifically to eschew obfuscation (baffle and bewilder) and ultimately to take away the fishing community’s ability to fight for access privileges under the law.

"In 2010, every time a fisherman stands up to defend his right to fish, some privileged preservationist with an ideological agenda simply has to cast a crooked finger towards the offending party and charge him with overfishing – it’s the 21st Century version of the Salem witch hunt, and any attempt to defend overfishing is tantamount to endorsing cancer. To stand in approval of overfishing is an act of environmental heresy, the offender subject to attack, consternation, contempt, public scorn and a life of dockside purgatory."

Go get 'em, Jim!

Previous AA Term of the Week: Spatial Planning