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State Governors Speak Out Against Looming Closures

Gulf Coast governors warn against recreational catch shares; Gov. Charlie Crist speaks out against looming Atlantic red snapper closure.

Political allies joined recreational anglers in the fight against catch share regulations and looming fishery closures, as four Gulf Coast governors signed a letter directed at Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke concerned about “the direction and rapidity in which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is moving to implement catch shares programs for fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico.”

The four governors include Governor Rick Perry, of Texas; Governor Bobby Jindal, of Louisiana; Governor Haley Barbour, of Mississippi; and Governor Bob Riley, of Alabama.

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Charlie Crist did not sign this letter but sent his own letter challenging the planned closure of Atlantic red snapper. Read it below:

(A Message from Capt. Bob Zales)

IT IS TIME FOR EVERYONE TO SEND A COPY OF THE LETTERS FROM THE GULF STATES TO THEIR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES AND TELL THEM WE NEED THE LAW AMENDED NOW! WE NEED FLEXIBILITY OF THE OVERFISHING REQUIREMENTS IMMEDIATELY SO THAT THE COUNCIL CAN RELAX THE RESTRICTIVE REGULATIONS BEING APPLIED TO RED SNAPPER, GREATER AMBERJACK, TRIGGER FISH, AND GROUPER. EVERYONE CAN GO TO WWW.THOMAS.LOC.GOV AND FIND THE CONTACT FOR ALL YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES.

TELL THEM WE NEED FLEXIBILITY AND WE NEED HR1584 AND S1255 AMENDED WITH THIS LANGUAGE: Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the reef fish fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic shall not be required to be rebuilt, and over-fishing ended, by a specific date provided that the annual level of fishing does not exceed the net reproduction rate for that fishery such that the fishery is rebuilding each year. If the objective set forth in this section is not met for any of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic reef fish fisheries in one year, the Secretary of Commerce shall adjust the fishing rate in that specific fishery in subsequent years to compensate for any overage.

THIS LANGUAGE WAS DRAFTED BY GEORGE MANNINA WHEN HE WAS BEING PAID BY Orange Beach Fishing Association. THIS LANGUAGE SIMPLY SAYS THAT AS LONG AS WE ARE TAKING A STEP FORWARD WE DO NOT NEED TO TAKE AN ELEVATOR. WE ARE GAINING MOMENTUM EVERY DAY, MORE PEOPLE ARE GETTING INVOLVED AND WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GET THE GOVERNORS TO STEP UP. NOW IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO DO THE SAME. FISHING HAS SLOWED TO NOTHING AND WE ALL HAVE EXTRA FREE TIME. IF YOU ARE IN THE WOODS, MAYBE YOU NEED TO THINK ABOUT IF YOU WILL BE FISHING NEXT YEAR. ACTION ONLY TAKES A FEW MINUTES. EMAIL, FAX, OR CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE THIS WEEK.

Bob


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