Highly Migratory Species Report

By John T. Koegler

(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association - May 1997 Newspaper)


NMFS has written a host of new rulings on a wide range of species. You need you to write a letter immediately to NMFS about Amendment #1 for both the Swordfish and Shark Plans. It is important that you inform NMFS’s that you reject both of these plans. A separate letter for each species is needed. This action by you on behalf of the recreational anglers is critical. If you desire to continue fishing for any HMS in the future. NMFS management plans sharply reduce future recreational participation in these two species and is therefore unacceptable. The deadline for your comments is midnight April 28, 1997. Write your letter now. You do not need to cover each item or issue in each plan, since you are rejecting each Amendment #1 in their entirety.

Send your letters to:

Rebecca Lent
Chief Highly Migratory Species Management Division, NMFS
1315 East-West Highway,Silver Spring MD, 20910
Attention: Swordfish Amendment #1 or Attention : Shark Amendment #1

NMFS is asking for comments about advisory panels plus how future HMS Plans will be considered. This issue is critical to the future of HMS participation by recreational anglers. NMFS is also soliciting comments on the feasibility of developing Fishery Management Plans for atlantic shark, swordfish, and tunas. If NMFS were to develop one FMP, it would establish one Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel for those species to assist NMFS in the collection and evaluation of information relevant to the preparation of the consolidated HMS management plan for those species. There is time on this issue, May 15, 1997 is comment deadline. NMFS can not manage HMS in separate plans. How can they managing them in combine plan help when they can not manage them in separate species plans. The whole system needs to be changed.

Recreational anglers have become a minority or excluded from management plans in the past. We must be represented on the AP’s in proportion to our numbers and economic importance. Our exclusion or reduced representation on these panels in the past is no longer acceptable. JCAA desires a consensus on this issue from all clubs and members . A meeting to review the issues and alternatives will be held starting at 5pm . Tuesday April 29 ,1997 at Stacey’s buffet, Route #70 shopping center, Brick, NJ. This will be a dinner meeting of JCAA’s HMS committee. All recreational anglers are invited to attend and assist development of a JCAA position on The FMP’s and AP. What position JCAA will take on the above issues will be the basis of the meeting. If you desire to attend, Please call me.

The 1997 Bluefin tuna proposed rules have just come out. The public hearings will start on April 22 and go into May with the Tom’s River hearing scheduled for May 7 from 7-10 pm at the Route #37 Holiday Inn, 290 State Highway 37 East. The Bluefin proposals has many items which we must work very hard for their passage in the final rule. There was a major break through in Bluefin Tuna management. NMFS wants comments on what you think about the purse seiners 5 boats receiving 250 MT of Giant Bluefin tuna yearly. If this does not light you desire to send NMFS a letter, then I have nothing to say. Please attend our April meeting where we will propose a course of action to make sure changes are made in this 250 MT quota. Many other important issues will also be discussed.

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