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Join the fight against the proposed closures

Make your voice heard by printing out the letter below and sending it in!

(A Message from Capt. Bob Zales)

Dear Fellow Angler,

Apparently, we are making progress bringing attention of the failure of the NMFS to properly address the congressional mandate to have an improved recreational data system by this past January. Other trade, recreational, and environmental organizations have finally come together to support a new and more timely recreational data system (see pdf letter here).

I do have concerns with a couple statements in the letter; "In short, much of the value of recreational fishing comes from the broader experience of “going fishing” rather than the actual catching of fish." and "The existing data collection system is the best scientific information available and therefore legally sufficient, but recreational fishermen deserve better than that."

First, while "catch and release" is a growing part of recreational fishing, many species sought by recreational anglers are not good candidates for catch and release as discard and predatory mortality is a major issue. Many recreational anglers fish to take fish home to eat and share with friends and some fish for sustenance. Second, although the existing recreational data collection system is the only recognized data system, I have serious issues with it being considered "the best scientific information available".

Clearly, if the new Administration in Washington is going to base major resource decisions on "best available scientific information available" and the existing recreational data system is viewed as such and this is the best that be created by our government, God help our country.

Some of us have been attempting to get this kind of recognition from major organizations to our data problems for many years. This is a welcome and overdue effort to inform the folks at the NOAA/NMFS and our congressional leaders of the extreme importance of accurate and real time recreational data.

Bob


Capt. Bob Zales, II
[email protected]
bus. ph 850-763-7249
fax 850-763-3558


(Click the letter for a printable version for mailing)