Catch share lawsuit strangles anglers, enriches share owners
Date posted: May 19, 2014
NOTE TO EVERY USA ANGLER: The following is about more than Gulf Red Snapper… It is about the paving of the highway to catch shares.
NMFS busted for violating Magnuson-Stevens.
National Marine Fisheries Service‘s (NMFS) failure to properly manage our fisheries is now being used to deprive you of your right to fish. In the recent Guindon v NMFS, a group of Gulf red snapper catch share owners with the help of Environmental Defense Fund(EDF) lawyers, sued NMFS for violating Magnuson-Stevens when dealing with purported ‘overages’ of the recreational sector’s allowable catch, or ‘quota’, for red snapper. Because of this, NMFS intends to punish recreational anglers when the allotted annual Allowable Catch is exceeded.
This lawsuit, apparently paid for by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), was designed to leverage the use of fatally-flawed numbers to crush the recreational angler’s access. As a direct result of this lawsuit, NMFS is in the process of resetting several quotas. Red Snapper has been reset to just nine days. Red grouper, at an all time high in abundance, has also just been re-set, with a loss to the angler of 1 fish in the daily bag limit along with a 3 1/2 month closure this year. More reductions and closures will surely follow.
Interestingly, a few of the Gulf’s 130 dual permit owners (they have a Charter/headboat permit and commercial permit on the same boat) are licking their chops. Just like the Gulf’s original catch share bandits, these dual permit holders want to be given the public’s allowable recreational catch for the permit holder’s own private use.
This is all part of a big squeeze play by the catch share strategists. Nearly all Gulf anglers agree that gag grouper and red snapper are at an all time high in abundance. NMFS knowingly fails to improve the recreational data while pursuing a catch share management plan. NMFS ignores the unnecessary, catastrophic economic damage caused by the flawed data.
While promoting catch shares, enviro-investor operatives like EDF maintain pressure against properly fixing the recreational data, as there is no money in it.
One needs to step back and take a good look at the big picture. Then, the EDF-driven investor game plan of catch shares becomes clear. Anglers will find themselves, in that game plan, paying to rent the right to keep a fish.
Angler awareness is spreading. Anglers CAN control the management of their fisheries. The FRA can continue to protect your right to fish only with your help. Join or donate today.
FRA TIP: Ending letters to elected officials with ‘I FISH and I VOTE’ can enhance the impact of your comments and concerns.