SAFA News   |    The South Atlantic Fishermen's Association

Statement Regarding House Vote to Ban Catch Shares on the East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico

Posted By: Matthew Ruby | May 10, 2012

"We are obviously disappointed by the outcome of the vote, but we will continue to aggressively educate Members of Congress on the potential adverse consequences of enacting a ban on catch shares. 

There is an opportunity to positively change South Atlantic commercial fisheries using tools like catch shares.  Members of Congress that don't believe current fisheries management is regulatory-intensive and putting fishermen out of business, should try fishing for a living in the South Atlantic.  Seasons for commercially important species such as golden tilefish, black sea bass and vermilion snapper have gone from near year-round to less than two months over a three year period.  Current management is costing the region jobs and economic opportunity, and this vote puts small fishing businesses and coastal communities in even more jeopardy.  And despite what has been suggested, catch share for commercial fisheries simply will not impact recreational fishermen's current access to the fishery.

The narrow vote margin on this amendment is evidence that Congress is hearing us.  We thank those Members of Congress that stand behind fisheries management decisions made on the local level not in Congress, as put forth in the Southerland-Grimm amendment. 

We will now focus our attention on the Senate and urge them to support fishermen and coastal communities by voting down any ban on catch share for the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico."

 

Matt Ruby, President, South Atlantic Fishermen's Association

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